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West Kgn police expecting positive results from 'Street Light' initiative

Wednesday, March 26, 2014    

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POLICE say they are expecting to see a positive change in the attitudes of children, their parents and guardians in West Kingston following the launch of the 'Under the Street Light' initiative.

Senior Superintendent Steve McGregor said the programme was launched at the intersection of Dumfries and Wellington Streets in the area on the weekend.

"Under the programme, police aim to reach out to young people and parents in communities in the division and to instil discipline and provide hope," McGregor told the Jamaica Observer on Monday.

The senior superintendent said that as part of the programme, meetings will be held fortnightly in selected communities.

He said that motivational speakers will be invited "to interact with youth to give them hope and a new perspective on life".

Police said more than 100 parents and children from different sections of the community attended the launch of the programme on Friday. The initiative follows the implementation of a youth curfew programme in the area in February.

Police said that under the programme, parents and guardians are required to have children under 17-years-old and under off the streets by 9:00 pm.

Law enforcers will also be working with officials from the Citizen Security and Justice Programme to train residents to become community monitors.

"These monitors will be working with parents and family members of children in communities across the division to ensure that young people adhere to the programme," McGregor explained.

Explaining how the system works, McGregor said on the first two occasions that children fail to follow the rules, the community monitors will engage their parents in an effort to get them to comply.

If there is no change, then a third-strike rule will be implemented, resulting in the police visiting the homes and, if necessary, taking action under the Child Care and Protection Act.

The Act states that parents have the main responsibility for the care and protection of children. It also stipulates a punishment of three years in prison for child neglect.

-- Kimmo Matthews

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