80% of crimes in the Region are committed by youths – Caricom SG

first_img“Some of the main findings of recent studies are that the majority of victims as well as perpetrators of crimes reported by the Police are young males 18 to 35 years old.”Those were the shocking facts revealed by Caricom Secretary General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque on Tuesday as the Caribbean Summit on Youth Violence kicked off at the Guyana Marriott Hotel, Georgetown.LaRocque further stated during his presentation that the Caribbean Region hasCaricom Secretary General Irwin LaRocquesome of the highest figures of youths being convicted for crimes.In fact, the Ambassador disclosed that according to a United Nations (UN) report, 80 per cent of prosecuted crimes are committed by youths between the ages of 19 and 29.“There are a number of socio-economic determinants of crime, of the least of which is the high youth unemployment in the Region of 25 per cent in 2017. That is three times the average and the highest,” the Secretary General pointed out.According to him, it has been realised that there is great need for intervention in order to combat the current challenge.He said, “The Crime Prevention National Plan and the Caricom Youth Development Action Plan are two of the main policy frameworks which guide and design the implementation of policy and programmes in Member States to address crime and violence from a prevention perspective through addressing the underlined social factors”. This is all done, LaRocque noted, with the intent of creating an enabling environment for adolescent and youth well-being. He, nevertheless, sought to highlight the critical role that families must play in theA section of the gatheringprevention of crime.The Summit, which is being hosted with the intent of pooling ideas for the prevention of youth violence in communities and schools and, to an extent, individual countries, will culminate today.The Summit is also geared towards creating “targeted actions” on policy-makers and stakeholders to create and maintain a peaceful Caribbean environment.Participating in the event are a number of Caribbean countries like Jamaica, St Lucia and a number of other nations, including the United States.Social Cohesion Minister, Dr George Norton, while delivering the feature address, spoke of the need for developing programmes to help build the self-esteem of youths.Norton told his fellow Caricom States’ representatives that, “We must all continue to implement programmes and activities that seek to develop and enhance youths’ self-esteem and confidence; promote tolerance; respect for laws and rules and empower them to be change agents in our societies”.The Minister explained that such programmes must include an avenue for youths to be able to shake off their aggression and release stress and anger which would have built up owing to insecurities.He added that they must be geared towards fostering peace and cohesion among youths and the nation as a whole.“These programmes would include sports and recreational activities, educational and cultural programmes, mentorship and counselling programmes, creation of youth-friendly spaces across countries, consultations and practical and life skills training,” Norton posited.During the two-day affair, participants will be involved in discussions revolving around the promotion of healthy masculinity, youth-driven responses to criminal gangs, and addressing risk and protective factors for youth violence, among others.last_img read more