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Story Highlights

  • Despite the inclement weather, hundreds of residents from Clarendon and St. Elizabeth turned out for the Ministry of National Security’s Unite for Change Violence Prevention Village and Exposition.
  • The event provided information on topics, such as violence prevention, personal safety, new legislation, and effective parenting, particularly fatherhood, where participants were treated to riveting discussions on proper parenting and how it can help reduce youth violence.
  • Deputy Superintendent, Samuel Blake, in his presentation on the Anti-Gang legislation said "while we use legislation and tough policing to arrest persons already in gangs, we have to break the supply chain."

Despite the inclement weather, hundreds of residents from Clarendon and St. Elizabeth turned out for the Ministry of National Security’s Unite for Change Violence Prevention Village and Exposition, held at the Student Transport Centre, in May Pen, on Saturday November 29, 2014.

The event provided information on topics, such as violence prevention, personal safety, new legislation, and effective parenting, particularly fatherhood, where participants were treated to riveting discussions on proper parenting and how it can help reduce youth violence.

Deputy Superintendent, Samuel Blake, in his presentation on the Anti-Gang legislation said “while we use legislation and tough policing to arrest persons already in gangs, we have to break the supply chain.”  He noted that one way of achieving this is putting more focus on parenting.

National Security Minister, Hon. Peter Bunting, who was joined by the police leaders in the division, said he was pleased to be part of the day’s proceedings, and to bring the ‘Unite for Change’ message to the parish.

“What we’re doing here is to raise the awareness of the people of May Pen and Clarendon around issues of violence prevention,” he pointed out.

“This year so far we’ve had a seventeen per cent (17%) reduction in all violent crimes and a nineteen per cent (19%) reduction in murders in Clarendon.”  “I encourage all citizens of Clarendon to become a part of the Unite for Change movement and move from being citizens concerned with crime to becoming citizens in action to prevent violence in our areas of influence, such as families, schools, communities or towns,” he continued.

In spreading the message of violence reduction and prevention, Minister Bunting also implored parents to use non-violent methods when disciplining their children, instead of using corporal punishment as the primary method.

“Parenting is critical; if we are going to be a peaceful society, we must raise our children peacefully…a child who experienced violence will grow up to be a perpetrator,” he advised.

Member of Parliament for Central Clarendon, Mike Henry, who attended the expo, encouraged persons to get involved with Unite for Change and other programmes designed to bring positive change and sustainable development to the community.

The Unite for Change initiative has been established to facilitate the implementation of the National Crime Prevention and Community Safety Strategy and to implement a national communications programme to support the change in social norms required to make Jamaica a more gentle, safe and secure society.

The Violence Prevention Village and Exposition was held in collaboration with the Citizen Security and Justice Programme, with the support of other non-government stakeholders.

For more information about the UFC movement or to volunteer, visit http://www.uniteforchangejm.org/.

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