(REALNEWS)Unemployment is a major contributing factor to the recent spike in the crime rate, says Damani Tabor, the United Progressive Party (UPP) public relations officer.
On Saturday, May 13, an off-duty police officer was shot below the knee when he attempted to thwart a hold-up and robbery at Roti King, and a young man is being sought in connection with the offence.
In order to curb the uptick in violent crimes of acquisition, Tabor says, job creation for the youth is vital. He notes that there is an unemployment crisis and links it to the out-of-control crime situation.
If the Gaston Browne Administration is serious about getting on top of crime, and arresting the surge in youth violence, then the people must be empowered with jobs, the UPP public relations officer points out. This will allow persons to be gainfully employed and enable them to support and feed themselves and their families, he says.
Meanwhile, Tabor says this hard economy has forced parents to take up more than one job to make ends meet. This is also contributing to youth delinquency, he says, since parents are spending less time with their children – just so they can provide for them.
He adds that, without parental supervision, young people tend to fall under negative influences that can wreak havoc on society.
According to Tabor, even the Cabinet has failed to acknowledge that economic hardship is one of the key factors driving the current crime wave and violence among the youth.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Education, Sports and the Creative Industries recently held a symposium on youth violence, which, reportedly, has yielded a number of outcomes – including the start of a public campaign aimed at reducing youth violence.
The campaign commenced with a Public Service Announcement (PSA) in which students from various schools admonish their peers to choose fun over guns and to stop the violence against one another.
Education Minister Daryl Matthew says other initiatives will include the establishment of a hotline through which information can be provided anonymously; an anti-violence public awareness campaign that uses promoters, artists, NGO’s, schools, and churches; and random “Stop and Search” exercises by the Police.