Better options than life of crime

Constable Wilson Clarke of the Royal Barbados Police Force’s Juvenile Liaison Scheme is not happy about the recent surge in violence among the island’s youth.

And he believes several factors are contributing to the current situation that should be addressed.

“I don’t attribute it to one particular thing; it is multifaceted. It could be their home environment or what they see on the media,” he told Barbados TODAY.

Clarke encouraged those who are involved in undesirable activity to focus their energies on learning vocational skills and becoming entrepreneurs, instead of continuing a life of crime.

 Constable Wilson Clarke of the Juvenile Liaison Scheme showing off the handy work of the campers.
Constable Wilson Clarke of the Juvenile Liaison Scheme showing off the handy work of the campers.
Campers line up to complete their activities.
Campers line up to complete their activities.

“Try to get yourself involved in positive things,” he advised. “We know all children cannot be academic.”

When asked if he believed the education system was equipped to handle teenagers who get involved in crime, Clarke said better structures are needed in schools to deal with deviant children.

He also wants to see more positivity highlighted in the media.

“When they do things that are negative it is truly highlighted. I am sure that there are more children out there who are doing positive things than those doing negative things,” Clarke contended.

The Junior Liaison Scheme, which seeks to help “at risk” youth become model citizens, has been hosting a five-week vacation programme at the St. Michael School.

The camp enables children between the ages of 10 and 17, who are referred to the scheme for deviant behavior, to co-exist in an environment that is friendly and rehabilitative. It is highly structured and assists participants in setting goals for themselves, exploring the importance of teamwork, and practicing respect for self and others, as well as conflict resolution.

When Barbados TODAY visited the camp, the youngsters had just completed one of the many activities planned for them, which include leather making, craft, jewelry, sports, a quiz and debates. There will also be a Bajan cook-off facilitated by the head chef at the Crane Resort.

The camp culminates on August 26 with a showcase at Prince Cave Hall.

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