“I want to invite all parents and guardians to pay more attention to your children, to their behaviour and conduct,” Dr. Harris said, noting that children need the love and support from the family.
The prime minister, who also holds the portfolio for National Security, noted that particular concern should extend to young people who are not working, yet are bringing money regularly into the house.
“You are not asking where the money comes from and then later when something happens to him or her or to you, then you get a better idea that it wasn’t honest work. It is better for them to be doing honest work than for them to be involved in illicit activities,” Dr. Harris stated.
He also shared a warning to individuals who may be tempted to join a gang.
“The message we are giving to the young people and we want you [parents] to give your children and your relatives, is gang life is no life,” Prime Minister Harris stressed, adding that painful lessons of the past have demonstrated that “gang life leads to death.”
“We want to halt that,” he said, adding that one life lost to violent acts is one life too many.
Under Dr. Harris’ leadership, the Ministry of National Security has received record budgetary allocations every year. The total 2019 allocation was $79.9 million, which represented an increase of $4.4 million over the total for 2018.
Ongoing priority projects and actions for the ministry this year include increased use of forensics in crime detection, expansion of the CCTV Surveillance System to the rural areas, construction of a new police station in Sandy Point, and the construction of a new prison.
The expansion of the Explorers Group will also continue. The formation of the community youth groups around the Federation is part of the ministry’s Crime Reduction and Prevention Strategy. To date, there are Explorers Clubs in Molineux-Phillips (Mol-Phil), Cayon, St. Peters, St. Paul’s, Shadwell, and Lodge. The Lodge group was launched last Sunday (February 17, 2019). The Explorers Group positively engages more than 400 individuals between the ages of 3 and 19 years.