Councillor for the Lluidas Vale Division in St. Catherine, Hugh Graham, has called out parents for what he considers to be their contribution to the relatively high crime rate facing the island.
“I am convinced that one of the main causes of the crime problem we are facing in Jamaica today is lack of proper parenting,” he said during a forum on child protection held on March 5 at Rose Duncan Park in Linstead, St. Catherine.
Graham, who is also the People’s National Party’s election candidate in St. Catherine North West, further stated that parents have a duty to ensure that their children are always protected.
“Our children are our future and it is important that we foster an environment that makes them feel safe and protected so they can grown and become the best of themselves. I am convinced that the best protection are our parents,” he further told the gathering.
Similar sentiments were expressed by Ilene Fearon-McKenzie, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) in charge of the Linstead, Guy’s Hill, Bog Walk, and Ewarton areas of the St Catherine North Police Division.
“The parents, they are not playing their part and paying close attention to the children and, as a result, we are having a major major situation in this country in general and Linstead of course,” she said while lamenting that communities are no longer playing an effective role in raising children.
She noted that a number of children are being abused in the area.
“In the court system here, there are so many situations that we have to deal with when it comes to sexual grooming – having sex with our children below the age of 16 – boys and girls – in the St. Catherine northern area as well as St. Catherine in general… Molestation is going on; some of the children are getting caught up because of financial gains and other issues,” she added.
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