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Stop exposing our children to violence, warns senior cop

Published:Thursday | July 6, 2017 | 12:00 AMCarl Gilchrist
Assistant Commissioner of Police Fitz Bailey speaking at the graduation ceremony.

Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Fitz Bailey has warned that Jamaica's Vision 2030 initiative is in trouble unless individuals shoulder the responsibility to reduce the level of violence in the society.

Children, Bailey said, are being fed a diet of violence, hence the high level of brutality in the society.

Speaking at a graduation ceremony at the Salmon Basic School in Exchange, Ocho Rios, on Wednesday, the ACP who is in charge of Jamaica Constabulary Force's Area Two Division, noted that children at a tender age are gullible and vulnerable.


Lasting impression


He warned that exposing them to violence, whether through child abuse, domestic interactions, social media or television news, would have a lasting impression on them.

"If you put a child in front of a television and all the child sees is violence, what do you expect that child to do? That child is going to demonstrate and express the violence that he or she is exposed to. We live in a country where we continue to feed our children a diet of violence," Bailey said.

Noting that we have to be very careful about what we allow our children to see, the senior officer charged the media to be more responsible in how news is reported.

"I watched the news last night and as an adult, I was very depressed. I saw a [heightened] level of violence for the first five minutes of the news. It's all about killings and killings and killings; and ladies and gentlemen, no society can exist like this. We cannot grow our children in an environment where they are exposed to violence and expect to have a good country. We talk about Vision 2030, it will not be achieved until we recognise that every one of us has a say in the reduction of violence in our society."

...Violence even when making jokes

Bailey also blamed poor parenting as a contributory factor, noting that "we as parents have not done a good job.

"We have to treat our children with love. We have to pamper our children and let them feel a sense of belonging and appreciation to reduce the violence that we are experiencing," he continued to a rousing applause from parents attending the graduation.

"We have served a diet of violence to our children - we adults - by our expression, by our interactions with each other. Even in making jokes, we use violence to express ourselves, and we have to change that cycle if we're going to change Jamaica," Bailey urged.