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The Office of the Attorney General is working with other stakeholders to arrest the problems affecting this nation’s youth.
Attorney General and Minister of Home Affairs, Adriel Brathwaite, stressed this, as he delivered the feature address at the Kiwanis Club of Barbados South’s Installation Ceremony held last Saturday, at Southern Palms Hotel, St. Lawrence, Christ Church.
He said the other agencies involved included the Ministry of Education, the National Council on Substance Abuse, the Ministry of Family, Youth, Sports and Culture, and non-governmental organisations.
In light of this, the Attorney-General announced that a two-day consultation would be held this week at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre, where stakeholders would meet to look at practical solutions to the problem of violence among our youth.
In addition, the Attorney General was of the view that the issue of youth and crime could not be fully addressed without some form of community intervention. To this end, he disclosed that the National Task Force on Crime Prevention had started an outreach campaign that involved going into communities to speak to residents about crime and to engage them on related topics. He indicated that the Haynesville and Deacons districts had already been visited and Oistins would be next on the list.
"The Government is aware that the preservation of law and order is critical, but we are cognisant of the fact that we need to buttress the work of the Royal Barbados Police Force with other documented and proven successes. The Government has adopted a multifaceted approach to the problem of crime and deviance, which focuses on addressing the problem of crime from prevention to treatment.
"This involves education, targeting at-risk youth and their parents or wards, community outreach, and strengthening existing rehabilitation programmes within the prisons and other institutions. We are also working more closely with non-governmental organisations such as the Kiwanis and similar service organisations," he noted.
Mr. Brathwaite called on service organisations, in particular, to invest in young people, since they were "our most valuable resource" and he urged on the news media to be more responsible as agents of information sharing in highlighting more positive news about young people.
He added: "We need as many hands on deck to reverse the worrisome trends of crime that not Barbados, but the entire world is presently facing. This starts with a revisit of our morals and values, and the way we interact with our young people. Prevention is always better than cure, and every effort is needed to stop the revolving door of recidivism through proper intervention and preventative interventions at the community and social level."
He stressed that government would not abdicate its responsibility to monitor and enforce, if necessary, minimum moral standards and other social behaviours, for the overall well being of the society.