PARENTS MUST PROVIDE love and affection so as to reduce the chances of their children getting involved in crime.
This was the message from Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite when he delivered the feature address at the graduation ceremony of the Barbados Family Planning Association’s 2010 Family Life Education & Peer Counselling Training Programme.
Brathwaite, who is also the Minister of Home Affairs, quoted statistics from the Royal Barbados Police Force that showed young people were responsible for many of the criminal acts committed in the island.
“We must have strong families in Barbados if we are to reduce crime. This came to me forcefully as I studied some recent statistics from the Royal Barbados Police Force.
“The statistics showed that during January to May 2010, 1 331 persons were charged with criminal acts. Of those persons, 760 or 57 per cent were between the ages of 11 and 30. This is alarming and must be nipped in the bud.
“Minor changes to legislation and the building of bigger and better prisons will not solve this problem. Crime will be reduced through society coming together
in partnerships. Together we must be tough on eradicating the causes of crime. We must adopt a society-wide approach to reducing crime instead of an approach focused only on what the criminal justice [system] can accomplish,” he said.
Brathwaite pointed out that criminal behaviour had its roots in the habitual deprivation of parental love and affection. He noted that the future criminal was often denied that sense of security a child enjoyed as a natural attachment to its mother.
“This lack of security, self-respect and attachment is illustrated by youth joining gangs and carrying lethal weapons. Children who find belonging, love and support in their families have no need of gangs.
“The stable family forms a protective unit which insulates its members from external dangers and from individual folly; it establishes trust, and builds confidence.
“A perfect family will practise love, honest communication, and proper respect for authority,” the Attorney General said.
He added that while policymakers had realised the strong connection between the breakdown of families and increased societal problems, this was not to say that a person without a strong family background could not become a model citizen. (AH)