JIS News

Minister of State in the Ministry of National Security, Dr. Donald Rhodd, has called for national support to empower the nation’s young people.
The Minister, who was speaking at the presentation ceremony for the winners of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) School’s essay competition at the Police Officers’ Club in Kingston on May 31, said that although programmes such as the Community Security Initiative (CSI) and the Community Security and Justice Programme (CSJP), among others, have been instituted by the Government to tackle the issue, there were still concerns.
“With all of these programmes that have been created, we still see a number of alarming events and activities taking place,” he pointed out, adding that much more had to be done in empowering young people and creating a conducive environment for them to grow.
Commenting on the findings of a survey conducted among 2,635 children in some communities in Kingston, St. Andrew and St. Catherine by the Ministry of Health, Dr. Rhodd informed that the research showed that 34 per cent were involved in shoplifting, 21 per cent knew someone who had been raped and 29 per cent knew of someone who had been killed, while 50 per cent of the respondents knew of someone who had been shot.
To reduce this alarming trend, the Minister said that a national assault to tackle the challenges must be pursued. “We need greater participation, greater collaboration and co-operation; we need to address in a fundamental way the institution of the family,” he emphasised.
He said that the nation must appreciate and embrace the family and as such, parenting programmes must be strengthened.
“A lot of the challenges that we are now facing has to do with the breakdown of families and if we can fix that, we can fix a number of other problems,” he asserted.
The 22nd staging of the competition was launched in September 2006 and concluded in January 2007.
Participants were chosen from three categories, under 12, 15 and 19. Roger Black of Priory Primary School was awarded first place in the Under 12 competition; Terry-Ann Ashwood from Morant Bay High was the winner of the under 15 category, while Schade Stanton of the Montego Bay Community College was the winner of the under 19 category and was also awarded the Commissioner’s trophy.

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