Linstead Cop Vows To Help Keep Violence Out Of Area Schools

Amid reports of violence and the seizure of weapons and contraband in some schools on the island, the Linstead Police in St Catherine North Division have proactively re-introduced their school intervention programme.

“To aid in enhancing the behaviour of these children and to assist the guidance counsellors within the various schools [in the Linstead area], three police officers have been assigned to perform school resource duties,” said Inspector Maxine Russell-Thomas who heads the Linstead Police Station.

The officers commenced their duties on April 4 and so far have been to a number of schools, she further disclosed. “They have been inside these schools speaking with principals, speaking with guidance counsellors and most importantly speaking with the students.”

Inspector Russell-Thomas further stated that, although all schools will benefit from the programme, the ones that will get closer attention are Charlemont High and McGrath High.

“Since the reopening of schools [last month], you would have seen where there has been a lot of incidents [such as] fights, quarrels and all sorts of disorderly behaviour being projected by some students. We have gotten calls from a few of the schools within the Linstead community. I am sure that the principal for Charlemont High won’t be upset if I say Charlemont is one of our schools that we have to be paying close attention to. Another school that we have to be paying attention to is McGrath High,” the senior officer said during an April 14 community meeting held via Zoom.

She also raised concern about the behaviour of some students in Linstead when they leave schools located in and out of the area.

“They are hanging out; they are going on plazas; they are hiding underneath some areas that are not good to facilitate children in uniform. They are also going into game shops and all of those things, and they are seen on the streets late – far later than the time when school would have dismissed,” Inspector Russell-Thomas added.

She urged persons in the school communities to assist in policing students and to pass on pertinent information regarding them to the cops.

Inspector Russell-Thomas reasoned that the behavioural issues, which some students now display, perhaps resulted from them not socializing with their peers for two years when schools were closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


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