Shadow Minister On Anti-Gang Initiatives

January 18, 2019 | 5 Comments

“I am supportive of the initiatives that are focused on our young people to give them options and trying to prevent them from getting involved in gangs or to reduce the incidents of violence from the young people already involved,” Shadow Minister of National Security Ben Smith said.

His comments follow after Minister of National Security Wayne Caines provided an update last night on the Ministry’s anti-gang initiatives.

Mr. Smith said, “The Minister’s statement is a good outline of all the programmes and initiatives that are in place to try to change the gang violence issues in Bermuda. I am supportive of the initiatives that are focused on our young people to give them options and trying to prevent them from getting involved in gangs or to reduce the incidents of violence from the young people already involved.

“The area of concern is the post school-aged individuals, the ones that are non-productive members of society, surviving on drug sales, who have the ability to entice our young people into this life of crime and violence.

“It will take a police effort to focus on these individuals and remove their ability to be seen as people to look up to by our youth because they are respected [feared], have flashy clothes or jewelry and the ability to entice with gifts. If they were made less comfortable they wouldn’t have the time to encourage our young people to join this dead end life.

“More importantly we will need our communities to speak out about these individuals because they are known to many.

“If we accept that these non-productive individuals are able to continue to thrive in their street life, then we will continue to accept that they will influence young people to join them.

“When a young person potentially doesn’t have support or guidance at home, may not have the money to be a part of some organized positive programmes like sports and has to walk by the group of bad actors daily, they are set up to fail more than they are to succeed.

“The initiatives to help these young people cope and make better choices is great, but there needs to be a strong effort to remove the element that is trying to recruit them to be negative.

“When you add that an undereducated young person has to decide between a job that barely pays enough to survive in our economy versus a life of crime, we have to make sure there is enough deterrent from the latter choice.

“The guy with the violent reputation, multiple girlfriends and access to cash is given a much higher level of respect than the young man who is working 16 hours a day to get by – even if the risk is that he may be killed any day and may not be able to ever leave his neighborhood.”

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Comments (5)

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  1. eyes wide open says:

    Chicken farming and Prayer!

    Seriously! that’s the best this lot can come up with apart from throwing our tax dollars at some Cartel preacher!

  2. Pastor Bean has it all under control as he has for the last five years. He collects a nice fat paycheck yet has accomplished a whole lot of nothing. Carry on party peeps your doing such a great job.

  3. Can you hear me now says:

    He speaks! Wow! Probably just his name attributed to someone else’s pen. Hard to believe he’s an MP. These OBA guys never say or do anything but complain about Michael Dunkley speaking up and doing what they should be doing. .

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