By LAMECH JOHNSON
Tribune Staff Reporter
A YOUTH activist believes the country’s crime woes can be tackled if the government made it mandatory by law for young people to participate in civic groups.
Speaking to The Tribune yesterday, Youth Empowerment Programme Director Delano Munroe said that “such preventative measures are needed to assist with decreasing the negative social behaviour among our citizens.”
The suggestion follows the fatal shooting of a 20-year-old in his own Montell Heights community around 5pm on Thursday.
Police identified the victim as Akeem Oliver, who was on trial before the Supreme Court in connection with a 2012 home invasion.
“I strongly suggest that we implement, through legislation, mandatory participation of every primary school, junior high school and senior high school and unemployed youth, 13 to 25, to actively be engaged in some sort of structured and reputable civic, sports, church or youth organisation,” Mr Munroe said.
“We have some excellent programmes out there that can assist with positive (mentoring), career development, life skills, guidance and discipline.
“Organisations over the years that have survived the test of time such as the Youth Empowerment Programme (YEP), Junior Achievement (JA), the Governor General Youth Awards (GGYA), Police Cadets, Royal Rangers, Pathfinders, Girl Guides, Boy Scouts, Kiwanis clubs, Rotary clubs, fraternities, sororities and the various established sporting clubs have demonstrated that people involved in these programmes make better responsible citizens.
“The Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture is the government agency that is mandated to implement, support and execute youth, sports and culture programmes. It is my view that the government must take a closer look at this critically important ministry in an effort to revamp and mandate the creation and execution of new structured and sustainable activities and programmes that will benefit all and do not discriminate against (any) of its clientele.”
Mr Munroe added that for a country with a population of 350,000 “the rate of crime and lawlessness is just too much and has reached unprecedented and unacceptable levels”.