Curfew order for Denham Town youth - Monitors to remove children from streets after 9 ’o clock
Fourteen volunteers from Denham Town, west Kingston, have been trained as curfew monitors and are now tasked with the responsibility of ensuring children in their community are off the streets by 9 p.m.
The volunteers were trained under a programme funded by the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF), in collaboration with the Kingston Western Police Division, Community Safety and Security Branch (CSSB).
The programme mirrors one that was operated by deposed Tivoli Gardens don Christopher 'Dudus' Coke, which was later formalised by Assistant Commissioner of Police Steve McGregor when he held command of the Kingston Western Police Division.
Coke, who is in the United States serving drug and gun-running charges, had a rule prohibiting children from being out on the streets after 8:30 p.m.
And when McGregor implemented the 'curfew for children' programme in his division in 2014, he said that monitors were critical to its success.
Last Wednesday, 14 persons graduated from a training programme aimed at achieving just this. These monitors will enforce the nightly curfew hours for children and youth under 17 years old in Denham Town.
Rory Griffiths, a 36-year-old computer technician, was among the graduates.
"I picked up this responsibility on myself because this is the community where I spent most of my life. A lot of times I have observed that during a violent outburst, you will see a youth on the corner chatting with a child that should already be in his bed. Sometimes, some of these children don't have any one to look up to as role models, so this is where I chipped in. The aim is to get them into programmes so they can make good of themselves," he said.
Griffiths said that the task of being a curfew monitor will not be an easy one.
"It takes time for some of these kids to adjust to these programmes. A lot of them are unruly and them 'run' me sometimes. I am talking about the majority who will downright tell me that they don't want to hear anything from me, but there are a few others who will listen to me," he said.