By Devina Samaroo
Two days after a 16-year-old boy was arrested in connection with an armed robbery, Minister of Public Security Khemraj Ramjattan charged parents to ensure their children stay out of trouble and that they inform the police when their kids break the law.
“Very many of us would prefer to keep quiet and not speak out…when we keep it in and we don’t talk we gonna suffer more violence because silence is violence,” Minister Ramjattan told a Youth Conference held at the Mahaicony Community Centre today.
The forum forms part of activities being held in celebration of the 42nd Anniversary of Community Policing Groups (CPGs) in Guyana.
He also encouraged children to “speak out” if they are aware of their friends being involved in criminal activities.
“If your friend is stealing and you know that he stole, we want you to speak out so we can ensure that he is caught.”
According to the Public Security Minister, “every day we hear someone criticising the police, demoralising them all because we sometimes want to hide the facts.”
He made reference to the incident in Berbice where a mother provided aid to her teenage son who murdered a security guard in the execution of a robbery instead of turning him into the police.
Mr Ramjattan said studies have shown that societies experience a major reduction in crime when youths are rid of bad habits.
“The bright people of the universities of the world, the authors of textbooks and criminology have come to realise that the first place we must target is young people,” he said.
The Minister explained that “if we get them out of bad habits at a very young age, we are going to have a reduction of crime in our society.”
In this regard, Minister Ramjattan urged the gathering of young people not to let their smartphones become their masters as he encouraged parents to foster an environment where their children are excited to read.
“Better readers make better leaders,” he said.