SENIOR Superintendent of Police (SSP) in charge of the St James Division, Steve McGregor, says improving parenting is critical in fostering a culture of discipline and respect for law and order among young people.
He said it is the high level of indiscipline among the youth, which is at the root of crime and violence in the society. “We make the biggest mistake to think that crime and violence is Jamaica’s biggest problem; it is not so, it is indiscipline,” SSP McGregor stated.
He was addressing the closing ceremony for the 23rd annual Montego Bay Co-operative Credit Union’s Schools Academic Championship Quiz, held on June 25 at the Cornwall College Chapel in St James.
Contending that the solution rests with proper parenting, he argued that “if you can influence the attitude of …our kids, we are going to make them better because at this young age, if you do not influence the attitude that they are exhibiting, it is going to result in some terrible behaviour”.
He said parents can bring about the change by paying equal attention to both boys and girls, instead of allowing boys to roam the streets, while the girls are safely locked away in the home.
He noted further that both genders must be taught to be responsible from an early age, adding that the notion that girls mature faster than boys is a myth.
SSP McGregor said the curfew implemented for minors in St James is aimed at reducing the possibility of them getting lured into criminal activities.
Under the curfew, no child under the age of 17 should be seen on the streets of the parish after 9:00 pm, unless they are in the company of a parent/guardian or heading home from school.
SSP McGregor said he was forced to implement the curfew because of the large number of minors, who continue to hang around gambling houses and bars.
“We are not talking about a kid coming from private lesson… football training, etc. If we see that kid we will help him to get home,” he pointed out.