Students Encouraged to Avoid Life of Crime Through Disk Jockey Competition

Photo: JIS Photographer Police Officer assigned to the Community Safety and Security Branch (CSSB) Safe Schools Programme, Corporal Fitzroy Rochester (centre) is flanked by students from Calabar High School, who recently participated in the Suncity High School Disc Jockey Competition.

Story Highlights

  • The Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) is encouraging students to avoid a life of crime and violence, through a disc jockey competition.
  • The JCF, along with the Ministries of Tourism and Entertainment, Youth and Culture and Education; and the National Council on Drug Abuse, has partnered with Suncity Radio Station to execute this competition.
  • Youth Development Coordinator in the CSSB, Sergeant Nekeisha Wright, told JIS News that the initiative was endorsed by the Branch as the traditional means of spreading ‘serious’ information to the target group has not been as effective as intended.

The Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) is encouraging students to avoid a life of crime and violence, through a disc jockey competition.

‘Fighting Crime with Rhymes’ is an initiative of the JCF’s Community Safety and Security Branch (CSSB), which empowers students with information to discourage crime and violence among the youth, as the JCF seeks to continue its mandate to empower youth and make schools safer through positive engagement.

The JCF, along with the Ministries of Tourism and Entertainment, Youth and Culture and Education; and the National Council on Drug Abuse, has partnered with Suncity Radio Station to execute this competition.

Youth Development Coordinator in the CSSB, Sergeant Nekeisha Wright, told JIS News that the initiative was endorsed by the Branch as the traditional means of spreading ‘serious’ information to the target group has not been as effective as intended.

“What we have realized is that when we communicate with them using their language, then we are able to make a greater impact,” she said.

Eighteen schools from Kingston and St. Andrew have been selected based on the number of principals who expressed an interest for their students to participate in the competition, which will run from January 19 to March 11.

Each Tuesday and Friday students entertain their schoolmates at the host school, with skilful displays on the turntable.

In addition to this type of entertainment, students are engaged by professionals from various entities who share creative presentations on sexual abuse, the impact of drug abuse on students, gang involvement and other relevant issues in child development.

The JCF joins this group of entities to disseminate information on the impact of crime and violence on self, community, nation and the region.

“We try to make it as creative as possible, because in that setting you get them to participate more and they are eager for the engagement. We sometimes invite Citizen Security and Justice Programme (CSJP) Men with a Message or we engage them using musically inclined police officers from the Branch who also use lyrics to engage the target group,” she said.

Sergeant Wright also noted that sometimes students are asked to compose lyrics and present them at the different schools throughout the competition.

The main theme for the competition is: ‘Avoid Addiction, Stick to Education’. Each team in required to compose lyrics surrounding this theme.

“This theme is further aimed at reinforcing the importance of staying focused in school, managing conflicts and violence in school, creating and maintaining a safe school environment, transforming the school culture, as well as  improving the relationship between the police and the school community,” Sergeant Wright  told JIS News.

Meanwhile, Strategic Marketing and Projects Manager at Suncity 104.9FM, Kirk Matthews, said the team is passionate about the creative industry and finding real solutions for society.

“This is a socio-economic solution that we have brought forward and the objective is really to enhance the creative industry and advance the creative economy. We believe in young people coming together and doing something positive that challenges their energies into something that is beneficial,” he said.

“In engaging these youngsters, we must have a message as a corporate brand and so we are not only pushing for the enhancement and development of talent, but at the same time we want to keep them positive and focussed. We see so many addictions – youngsters are addicted to their cell phones, sex, pornography, drugs, smoking and driving. This is a move to protect and help them to be channelled in a positive direction,” he added.

The school that has the winning disc jockey will be awarded $50,000.00, while the winning student will receive a Laptop, two months internship and training at Suncity 104.9FM, as well as a gift certificate valued at $20,000.00. The second placed school will be awarded $25,000.00 and the student participant will receive a Tablet, a month’s internship at Suncity 104.9FM and a gift certificate valued at $10,000.00.

The competition, which is also sponsored by several corporate sponsors with a youth centred focus, should expand to Montego Bay for the next staging.

JIS Social