JIS News

Young persons in and around the Lauriston and Thompson Pen communities of Spanish Town have benefited from the recently staged youth forum hosted by the Lauriston/Thompson Pen 4-H Club under the theme ‘Crime and Violence in Today’s Society’.
As a result of the forum young people in those volatile communities are now better equipped to identify and deal with activities that lead to crime, having been educated on how to counteract them.
Describing the feedback as encouraging, Recruitment Officer for the Jamaica 4-H Clubs and organiser of the event, Shian Christie, said “it was a resounding success, we are very pleased with the turn-out of young people and all the sponsors were pleased to be involved”.
The forum targeted young people in the area primarily to offer them a way of coping with the violence in their communities, which the organisers felt, was having an effect on them.
“It was really about sensitising young people about the effects of crime and violence, and how we can help to stop it, especially in and around the Spanish Town area,” he told JIS News.
The forum focused on four main areas: guns, narcotics, gang violence and kidnapping. “First we looked at guns and the reason why we looked at guns is because they come into the island and affect us. We looked at narcotics. we looked at gang violence in Spanish Town and the surrounding areas. We also looked at kidnapping and how persons got money from others,” he explained.
Resource persons were drawn from various arms of the Jamaica Constabulary Force including Crime Stop, Operation Kingfish and the Island Special Constabulary Force.
Mr. Christie noted that the police had been very enthusiastic about participating. “The police said they wanted to participate in something that could influence some youngsters about not getting into crime or engaging in any violent behaviour.many of them felt good as that was the only opportunity they’d get to talk to youngsters in a community setting,” he added.
This is the third staging of the Lauriston/Thompson Pen Youth Forum, which attracted persons as young as age 10. Mr. Christie noted that plans were already afoot for the fourth staging, primarily because of the significant success of this year’s forum. “Next year we hope to look at something to do with education,” he noted.