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Focus on errant youths

Top cop urges at town meeting
Wednesday, October 1, 2014
Aknath Singh, president of the Barrackpore Police Community Council, during a police town meeting at the JR and D Convention Centre, St Croix Road, Princes Town, on Monday. PHOTO: CORI BAYNES

Don’t give up on errant youths, advises acting Commissioner of Police Stephen Williams, in the effort to stem violent crimes in the future. Williams made the statement as he spoke to residents of the St Croix community during a town meeting held at the JR and D Convention Centre, St Croix Road, Princes Town, on Monday. Williams, along with other senior police officers, was responding to concerns raised by residents about acts of violence, delinquency and other negative influences in the community. 

He urged the adults to make positive and meaningful contributions to the lives of young people. “As citizens we seek to make a difference in the lives of young persons. It is so critical that you do not give up because what will make the difference in this country for the future is how we shape that future generation. 

“The young ones of today will be the adults of tomorrow and as we struggle in 2014 with violent crimes, we would hope that if we work with the young people today that struggle that we are experiencing with violent crimes will not be in the future.” Noting the need for citizens to not only contribute financially, but also to give of their time and support, Williams warned that if nobody worked with the youths, the problem would worsen. 

Aknath Singh, president of the Barrackpore Police Community Council, said the proliferation of gambling machines in the bars in the area would negatively affect young people, especially the children. Also voicing concerns for the youth was Princes Town West Secondary School Vice Principal Heeralal Ramdath who said he would like to see prevention of lawlessness at the school level. 

He said students were often seen loitering both before and after school and he called on the police to help deal with that problem. Williams, in his response, said that in the southern division, Snr Superintendent Cecil Santana had placed special emphasis on dealing with the gambling problem and that he (Williams) would continue to stand behind his officers once they carried out their duties with professionalism. 

“On the issue of the proliferation of gambling machines in the bars in the area, I will encourage Snr Superintendent Santana to look at the problem with a clear intention of continuing the effort to prevent our young people from being negatively influenced. 
“We surely have to prevent situations where negative exposures are given to our young people.” Superintendent Zamsheed Mohammed pledged his support in curbing the problems at the Princes Town West Secondary School. 

“We have to be proactive in preventing these young minds from going down a road they will be sorry for sometime later,” he said, adding that he intended to interact with the students on a regular basis in an effort to bring them along the straight path. “I believe that we as a people could make that difference in the minds of the young people. It wouldn’t take us much, just some time and sincere interest.”


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