BASSETERRE, St. Kitts — Reviving young people’s interest and mobilising them to participate in various community groups gives them a chance to apply their skills and boost their self-confidence and self-esteem, according to Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of National Security Osmond Petty.
“Being involved in community activities through various groups gives young people a sense of belonging in their communities,” explained Petty. “The Ministry of National Security is focused on reviving community activities to actively engage young people.
“In the next two or three weeks, we are going to start some related engagements in terms of not just all of government but all of the community to do some of what we do in deviant behaviours,” he said. “We need to mobilize communities and get communities involved in what is happening.”
Petty said that the ministry engaged a psychologist who will be in St. Kitts and Nevis to assist with the initiative.
“We are going to try to put together a programme to have discussions… to mobilize communities because communities right now are dormant. Something happens and everybody looks to the Police,” he said. “Very few community counsellors are operational and those who are, seldom do anything relative to crime prevention.
“In terms of pulling youth together not much of that is happening in communities,” said Petty, “we need to get back to that kind of vigorous activity.”
The whole idea of reviving community activities forms part of St. Kitts and Nevis’ National Security Strategy, which provides a comprehensive plan for an “all of government approach” to further ensure a safe and secure environment for citizens, residents, and visitors.
“This is a strategy; this is not the solution,” concluded Petty. “Out of this policy will come a number of policy documents, revised legislation, and a crime reduction plan.”