Police say crimes by students decreasing

Date: 
Wednesday, February 24, 2016 - 00:00

Acting Assistant Commissioner of Police for Community Relations, Enez Joseph, says serious crimes involving students in schools, have been on the decline.

Joseph was addressing a news conference today to outline the police's service intervention strategies to address issues in schools.

He says that in 2015, there were 45 serious criminal offences involving students committed in schools, down from 57 in 2014.

The following is his complete statement:

"Youth development is fundamental to achieving the vision of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) for a safer society and in this regard, under the Community Policing Secretariat several initiatives have been implemented over the years geared towards positive youth engagement.

Trinidad and Tobago Police Service acknowledges it has a key role in helping to shape and mould the lives of young people - especially those deemed to be at risks or vulnerable to negative influences - which would ultimately redound to the overall good of society.

This focus on youth development therefore is part of a long term policing strategy and is in tandem with one of the goals of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service to be more citizen-centred in our delivery of policing services to members of the public.

Positive youth engagement initiatives/programmes of the TTPS:

 Police youth clubs

 National School’s Anti-Bullying

 Caring Intervention for Troubled Youths (CITY)

 Police school liaison officers

 School visits and lectures

 Outreach programmes

 Police Youth Club Liaison Officers

 Residential training programmes

 Bi-annual national P.Y.C. Sports

 Youth Against Marijuana (Tobago)

 Drug abuse resistance education

In 2015, there were 45 serious criminal offences involving students committed in schools, down from 57 in 2014.

Overall, covering all crime types - minor and serious; 239 offences were committed by students in schools when compared to 280 in 2014.

In terms of reports of criminal offences involving teachers/principals as victims of school violence, there were 44 such reports in, 2014, as against 37 in 2015.

When it comes to reports of cyber bullying involving students, 25 cases were recorded down from 35 in 2014. 

Of the cases reported in 2015 – 15 involved allegations of harassment, five defamation of character and five involved sexual offences.

Recommendations:

1. Expansion of the CITY programme in all nine policing divisions with the support and endorsement of the Ministry of Education

2. Ministry of Education institutionalise and incorporate Police Youth Clubs in all primary and secondary schools

3. Greater collaboration among government agencies to more effectively address the issue of school violence."

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