A senior police officer says the police have been implementing strategies to help reduce recruitment of children and young people into gangs.
Assistant Commission of Police (ACP) Steve McGregor says there is an increased concern for youngsters who are being recruited by gang members.
Mr. McGregor was speaking at a Career and Youth Expo held at the Mico College and University on Wednesday, November 28, 2018.
McGregor said gang leaders are preying on young children to carry out their deeds and the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) has acted to reduce the number of recruitments by implementing a curfew programme within communities across the island.
“Our young people make up the bulk of those who are being killed and also the bulk of those who are doing the killings in our country. Our curfew programme is aimed at getting youngster off the streets at 9pm so that they don’t fall prey to gang recruitment,” ACP McGregor said.
He added that while the JCF is working assiduously to put an end to gang recruitment, youngsters are the main perpetrators of killings in the country due to their vulnerability.
“Children are more agile, they are able to move around like Usain Bolt, they can go through windows in people’s home and steal and also youngsters are more eager, they want to make duppies just like them. When you hear about quadruplet killings and five people being killed at once, is not any old person committing these crimes is the young people, they are the ones pulling the triggers,” ACP McGregor said.
He said the JCF has also set up youth clubs for children who are vulnerable and mentorship programs to assist parents with the upbringing of their children, all part of reducing the involvement of the young in crime.