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EDITORIAL: Social groups must help save youth

Barbados Nation

EDITORIAL: Social groups must help save youth

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AS A NEWSPAPER, we cannot help but add our voice to the recent call to pray for and help save a vulnerable group of young people from a life of crime.

You just need to follow recent news reports and it becomes clear that some  of our youth have been walking a winding path that is dark and murky.

In short, too many of our youth are in trouble.

From young girls brazenly posing with guns to school vandals who are being warned they will be hauled before the law courts if caught, to those who are answering murder charges, the news reports have been worrying, especially since they all involve individuals under  the age of 25.

Magistrate Graveney Bannister and Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite  have already spoken out against this worrying trend, while urging social groups to get involved.

It is a call that cannot be ignored.

On Tuesday six young men were pictured on the back page of the DAILY NATION, charged with the October 2 murder of 23-year-old Jamal Worrell of Indian Ground, St Peter. What was glaring was that at least three were 21 years or under.

Two days earlier, Minister of Transport and Works Michael Lashley warned that schoolchildren would be prosecuted if caught fighting or behaving badly  in bus terminals.

It was reported that young people were not only assaulting drivers, but also damaging Transport Board buses, which then affected the smooth flow of public transportation and cost the board thousands to repair.

The time to act is now when it comes  to setting our young people on the straight and narrow.

Tough action is needed because we cannot continue to condone this bad behaviour, especially the bold and brazen acts we have seen popping up recently where there is seemingly no fear among the perpetrators for the consequences  of their actions.

These acts need to be nipped in the  bud or else there will be far-reaching consequences for the country.

We cannot afford to let these  young people continue down this dangerous road.

Social clubs, as well as the business sector and individuals, all need to extend a lifeline to these at-risk young people.

But we also need to make it clear we recognise that while some are involved in criminal activity, not all young people are bad.

In fact, we would like to believe that the majority of them are leading positive lives and making a good contribution to our society.

If we do not want to lose the vulnerable ones to a life of crime, we need to act now and spare no effort in coming to their aid.