JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The Major Organized Crime and Anti-Corruption Task Force (MOCA) is targeting schools under a campaign aimed at eliminating lottery scamming in western Jamaica.
  • The Lottery Scamming Prevention Campaign in Schools got underway on Wednesday (Jan. 28), with sensitization sessions held at four schools in Montego Bay under the theme: ‘Lottery scamming is a crime. Stop it before it stops you’.
  • Hundreds of students of Glendevon Primary and Infant; Salt Spring Primary; Green Pond Primary; and Albion Primary schools participated in the interactive sessions, where they were educated about the dangers of lottery scamming.

The Major Organized Crime and Anti-Corruption Task Force (MOCA) is targeting schools under a campaign aimed at eliminating lottery scamming in western Jamaica.

The Lottery Scamming Prevention Campaign in Schools got underway on Wednesday (Jan. 28), with sensitization sessions held at four schools in Montego Bay under the theme: ‘Lottery scamming is a crime. Stop it before it stops you’.

Hundreds of students of Glendevon Primary and Infant; Salt Spring Primary; Green Pond Primary; and Albion Primary schools participated in the interactive sessions, where they were educated about the dangers of lottery scamming.

Students were alert and showed a lot of interest in the activities and many were rewarded with books and other educational materials. At the end of the sessions, students went away with the clear concept that lottery scamming is wrong and is a crime.

Representative of MOCA, Corporal Kevin Watson, told JIS News that the campaign, which will be undertaken over seven weeks, aims to point students to a viable and legal alternative to lottery scamming.

He said the schools targeted are those considered to be most affected by the scourge.

“Through MOCA, the police, and with the assistance and support of citizens across western Jamaica, we will be working together to educate our young people. This is a proactive approach that we are using to curb lottery scamming,” he said.

According to Corporal Watson, “lottery scamming is now moving from a socio-economic problem to a cultural one and we must start the transition in the schools, hence this campaign. It is a pro-active approach, which we are confident will work.”

He contended that “if the prevention initiative could get children to understand that scamming is wrong and is a crime, then in the final analysis, the monster would be defeated and the change would be evident”.

Principal of Glendevon Primary and Junior High School, Suzan Simms, told JIS News that lottery scamming is not a problem at her school. She commended the guidance counsellors and teachers, for ensuring that “students are educated to the fact that scamming is wrong”.

“I believe that the MOCA team is doing a good job and encourage them to continue on to more schools with this urgent and important message. Lottery scamming must be stopped and this begins with the younger generation,” Ms. Simms said.

The Lottery Scamming Prevention Campaign will be taken to a number of educational institutions across St. James, Trelawny, Hanover and Westmoreland over the next seven weeks, including primary and high schools, community colleges, and other tertiary institutions. Parent-teacher associations and community groupings will also benefit from the sessions.

Deputy Superintendent of Police for Area one, Ainsley McCarthy, told JIS News that while several persons have been taken into custody, arrests alone will not solve the problem.

“We understand the socio-economic climate of the communities … and realize that if we start early by educating the students, it will make a world of difference. We at Area one will therefore continue to partner with MOCA to see the programme through to the end, hoping that we reap some success along the way. From what we saw today, we are confident that we are on the right track,” DSP Ainsley said.

 

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