‘Gang life equals no life’ – Week long focus on preventing children from joining gangs
Efforts to prevent Jamaica's youth from joining criminal gangs will intensify this week as the police Counter-Terrorism and Organised Crime (C-TOC) Branch and the Safety and Security Unit of the Ministry of Education mark Anti-Gang Week.
The initiatives will target vulnerable and at-risk individuals, including young offenders and unattached youth, in order to build their resilience and better enable communities to respond to violence.
Under the theme 'Gang Life equals no Life', several interventions will be implemented in an effort to impact youths who are predisposed to be involved in gangs.
C-TOC head, Assistant Commissioner Fitz Bailey, last week called on churches, non-governmental organisations, public and private entities and schools to support the efforts to stop children from joining gangs.
According to Bailey, the Anti-Gang Week is designed to awake the consciousness of the public, so that they can get involved and help to divert our youth from a path that is destructive.
"If we allow the gangs to continue to dominate, then economic development will stagnate, so we must partner to create the Brand Jamaica we want," said Bailey.
Activities for Anti-Gang Week get under way today with a church service. On Tuesday, school resource and C-TOC officers will visit more than 150 primary and secondary schools to give talks to the students.
In addition, more than 50 students who are in conflict with the law and are on probation will benefit from special presentations by C-TOC and representatives from the United States Agency for International Development on Wednesday.
A town-hall meeting will be held at Mandela Park, Half-Way Tree, on Thursday before the activities culminate with an 'edutainment' at the Half-Way Tree Transport Centre on Friday.