JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Minister of National Security, Hon. Peter Bunting, has said the lack of a father figure is one of the main reasons why many young men join gangs and get involved in a life of crime.
  • There are some 250 to 300 criminal gangs operating in Jamaica, with a number of them made up of school children.
  • Minister Bunting joined the call for new housing developments to include facilities for law enforcement, and recreation.

Minister of National Security, Hon. Peter Bunting, has said the lack of a father figure is one of the main reasons why many young men join gangs and get involved in a life of crime.

“The impact of paternal deprivation is very serious. Studies have shown that a child without a father is 11 times more likely to display violent behaviour, 10 times more likely to join a gang and six times more likely to end up in prison, and twice as likely to drop out of school,” he stated.

“If we could effectively deal with the issue of fatherlessness it could make a significant impact on our crime fighting strategies and operations,” he argued.

Minister Bunting, who was addressing a Unite for Change seminar in Montego Bay recently, said that there are some 250 to 300 criminal gangs operating in Jamaica, with a number of them made up of school children. He noted that teens are sometimes involved in the commission of very brutal acts.

Meanwhile, Minister Bunting joined the call for new housing developments to include facilities for law enforcement, and recreation.

He said housing developments “now include a lot of pathways instead of roadways”, which makes it difficult for effective law enforcement.

“The police cannot respond to calls in certain communities due to the layout. I am asking the parish councils not to approve any new developments if there is no provision for a police post and if the layout is not conducive to the carrying out of law enforcement work,” he stated.