Talk to us : NGOs want greater role in crime fight
Western Jamaica-based family therapist Dr Beverly Scott is calling on the Government to partner with civil society stakeholders to stop the current criminal onslaught, which has claimed more than 1,000 lives in Jamaica since the start of the year.
In a recent interview with the WESTERN STAR, Scott said that the Government must make use of the non-government organisations (NGOs) that want to implement strategies for dealing with crime at the community and individual levels.
"The Government has to get more proactive in its interaction with the civil society organisations that have a track record of saving young people and helping people in their communities," said Scott.
"We have a lot of NGOs and civil society people who are ready to go, and we have been appealing to the Government to use us," said Scott. "The Family and Parenting Centre has written several letters to government ministries with comprehensive proposals on how we can divert youth from crime and violence, but some of them don't even respond."
VALUE OF LIFE
Scott said that in order to keep the present generation of young people from becoming a part of the crime and violence problem, they need to be taught about the value of life as well as general values and attitudes.
"The children seem to be desensitised to life, they don't value life; and so we need to re-sensitise them," said Scott. "The 'ah nuh nuttin' syndrome and 'yu haffi dead one day' mentality have taken over society.
"We have to resensitise them about life, help them to build their self-esteem and deal with their anger, and give them conflict resolution skills," added Scott.
The latest crime statistics indicate that western Jamaica continues to be a major contributor to the murder figures on the island. St James, which is home to the nation's tourism capital, Montego Bay, leads all police divisions with 215 murders. Westmoreland has recorded 89 murders, Hanover, 44, Trelawny, 15, and St Elizabeth, 14.