BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, May 14, 2018 (PLP PR Media Inc.) — Deputy Prime Minister and Federal Minister of Education, Youth, Sports and Culture, the Hon Shawn Richards, has said that the youth represent the nation’s ‘now’ and he has committed to be by their side in every step of the way in their crime reduction initiatives.
“There are those who say that the youth represent our future, but I proffer this morning that youth represent now,” said the Hon Richards. “They, the youth, are the barometer of everything that is right with our society, and unfortunately, often also reflects what is wrong.”
The Deputy Prime Minister said he was honoured, humbled and inspired to be with the youth and younger leaders both local and regional, the volunteers, parents, partners, technocrats and service providers, all of whom are committed to the prevention of crime and violence which affect the most valuable and vulnerable populations.
“I commit to you this morning that I will continue to be there by your side in your every step toward that day when no person has to live in fear of crime or violence in our Caribbean region again,” said Hon Richards.
The Deputy Prime Minister made the remarks on Saturday May 12 at Independence Square at the end of an anti-crime youth rally held to culminate the CARICOM and USAID-sponsored Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI) Eighth Meeting of the Technical Working Group (TWG) on Crime Prevention by Focusing on At-Risk Youth and Vulnerable Populations.
Taking part in the rally, which started at Lockhart Street, were the four Explorers Clubs, Mol-Phil, Shadwell, St. Paul’s and St. Peter’s, the Sandy Point Bikers Club under the USAID CFYR programme, as well as delegates to the Eighth TWG. The rally was held under the theme ‘Changing community norms through youth engagement’.
The Hon Richards thanked the Ministry of National Security, Permanent Secretary Mr Osmond Petty, Commissioner of Police Ian Queeley and their team of officers responsible for the development of the four Explorer clubs, and organisers of the Sandy Point Bikers Club.
According to the Deputy Prime Minister, their hard work was reflected in the bright faces and bright smiles in the young people who were present at Independence Square, as was their bright future in a free and safe St. Kitts and Nevis and the wider Caribbean. He also applauded the efforts and commitments of the parents, guardians, teachers, counsellors and supporters of the young people, and urged them to continue being the source of positivity and encouragement to the country’s young people.
“There are certainly many other positive programmes being offered by many persons, young and old, that quietly play their part to reduce crime and violence and I invite us all to applaud their efforts and to draw nearer to their side as we tackle the scourge of crime together,” said Deputy Prime Minister the Hon Shawn Richards in his conclusion. “To all who engage youth and to all youth that are engaged, I say a huge thank you and God bless.”
Joining the youth as the rally snaked through the streets of Basseterre included Prime Minister and Minister of National Security, Dr the Hon Timothy Harris, Commissioner of Police Ian Queeley, Deputy Commissioner of Police Hilroy Brandy, Assistant Commissioners of Police Andre Mitchell, and Terrence James, and Crime Reduction Specialist Dr Neals Chitan.