Po­lice praise youth pro­gramme

Jamaica Gleaner - - ANNOUNCEMENTS -

THE JA­MAICA Con­stab­u­lary Force (JCF) is hail­ing its flag­ship youth pro­gramme, the Po­lice Youth Clubs, for help­ing to steer young peo­ple away from crime.

Head of the JCF’s Cor­po­rate Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Unit (CCU), Su­per­in­ten­dent Stephanie Lind­say, said that the clubs, which have a chap­ter at each po­lice sta­tion, have been in­stru­men­tal in pro­vid­ing guid­ance for at-risk youth.

“We have seen sig­nif­i­cant im­prove­ment in be­hav­iour. We have been able, over the years, to trans­form some of them and they are now mem­bers of the JCF,” she said.

Lind­say said many of the young­sters who are part of the clubs were pre­vi­ously un­at­tached, which made them vul­ner­a­ble to be­ing re­cruited by crim­i­nal gangs.

“A lot of the chil­dren that we en­counter in the po­lice youth pro­gramme and that we work with are those chil­dren who are not con­nected to a fam­ily or a for­mal in­sti­tu­tion, such as a main school sys­tem. They do not have a fam­ily who will pro­vide them with guid­ance and sup­port and show love and care for them, so they are looking for some­thing or some­where that they can get that sense of be­long­ing,” she said.

She noted that trou­bled youth are also in­den­ti­fied through the Safe School Pro­gramme, which in­volves col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion, Youth and In­for­ma­tion, and other key stake­hold­ers.

IN­TER­VEN­TION

Through in­ter­ven­tion be­tween the po­lice and school ad­min­is­tra­tion, they are kept in the main­stream school sys­tem.

Lind­say said that the JCF has been work­ing as­sid­u­ously to impact youth be­fore they are scouted by gangs.

She noted that strate­gies have been im­ple­mented to reach those who have al­ready en­tered gangs.

The Com­mu­nity, Safety and Se­cu­rity Branch and the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion will shortly launch the first 100 po­lice youth clubs in schools in or­der to bring the ini­tia­tive closer to chil­dren.

FILE

Su­per­in­ten­dent Stephanie Lind­say

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