Jamaican kids need positive learning environments, says senior cop

Superintendent of Police, Velma Thomas-Gayle (left), of the Community Safety and Security Branch, converses with Executive Director, Violence Prevention Alliance, Dr Deanna Ashley, during a policy forum at the Management Institute for National Development (MIND) on Friday.

Superintendent of Police, Velma Thomas-Gayle, of the Community Safety and Security Branch, is calling on more Jamaicans to promote and build positive learning environments in homes and schools, especially for young children and adolescents.

Speaking at a policy forum, titled ‘Safety and Security: Crime Prevention Through Social Intervention’, at the Management Institute for National Development (MIND) in St Andrew, on January 31, she said positive learning environments, as well as critical social intervention programmes, will assist in building empowered youth and adults and assist in curbing the levels of violence and untoward behaviour in the society.

She encouraged parents and guardians to instil positive attitudes and behaviours in children, such as honesty, respect for one’s self and respect for others, positive thinking and good manners.

Social intervention programmes

Thomas-Gayle said the Community Safety and Security Branch is actively pursuing social intervention programmes in schools and communities.

Chief among them are the Safe School Programme, which aims to reverse the trend of violence in schools and foster learning, safety and social behaviour, and the Police Youth Club, which seeks to foster better relationships between communities and the Police.

The Superintendent said the Safe School Programme also provides academic focus and supports students in achieving high standards, while fostering positive relationships between the schools, and promoting meaningful parental and community development.

“These programmes promote the relationship between the police and the students and provide training opportunities to youth in the field of sport, drama and art while developing their mental, physical and spiritual lives,” she said.