JIS News

Minister of National Security, Dr. Peter Phillips, has said that any effective solution to crime and violence will require the re-socialization of behaviours and transformation of values and attitudes of those in communities beset by violence and disorder.
He was speaking at the graduation ceremony for 138 participants in the Citizen Security and Justice Programme (CSJP) and the National Youth Service’s Micro Entrepreneurial Corps, held last Friday (May 11) at the Waterfalls in Kingston.
He noted that to return some normalcy to communities being overrun by gangs and criminality, the security forces will have to redouble their efforts to treat every citizen with respect. “Unless the security forces and the people on a whole operate as one, it will not be possible to isolate the criminals and return peaceful behaviour to the communities,” he argued.
According to Dr. Phillips, many of the residents of troubled communities, particularly the young, feel that they have been abandoned and failed by the society and have a sense of alienation, because of the absence of moral example from the wider society. The solution, he said, must start with removing the alienation, and helping to build self esteem among young people.
Pointing out that effort must be made to try to remedy some of the failings of institutions, which have not delivered to the satisfaction of some young people, he called on the business community to start re-investing in inner city areas, so that jobs can be available to young people.
“The business community also has to accept the challenge not to discriminate against people because of their address,” he said, noting that everyone must be given a fair chance to demonstrate their skills and talents.
He stated further that the public sector has a responsibility to deliver social services effectively, and to recognize its role in helping to build the self respect of people living in depressed communities, while non-governmental organizations can also do more to help revive cultural life and develop opportunities.
In the meantime, Dr. Phillips encouraged the graduates to take responsibility for their own development, even as the wider society accepts the challenge of helping to transform their lives. “Take personal responsibility not to start a family before you are ready, to avoid drugs and the effects they will have on the mind.personal responsibility to develop the mind and be the best you can be,” the Security Minister urged.
The CSJP was introduced in 2001 and is regarded as one of the most innovative and integrated projects being implemented in Jamaica to deal with crime and security challenges.
The programme is being administered by the Ministry of National Security, and has so far made significant strides in transforming the social and economic well-being of residents in a number of inner-city communities.
It is funded by the Government and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) at a cost of $20 million.

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