The Ministry of National Security will be implementing a one-year strategic social-intervention pilot project in 21 communities, aimed at reducing crime and violence, particularly those perpetrated by youth.

The targeted communities include Denham Town, Kingston; downtown Kingston; Bull Bay, St Andrew; Montego Bay, St James; Spanish Town Central, St Catherine; and May Pen, Clarendon.

Their selection was based on the results of a three-year comparative analysis of incidents and victims of homicides and shootings recorded in volatile communities currently benefiting from various social service programmes.

Senior Director of Crime Prevention and Community Safety in the Ministry, Renée Steele, says a framework has been established to guide the pilot’s implementation across government agencies.

“We are being more deliberate in our approach to identify a cohort of students from schools within targeted communities who are most at risk. In our previous approaches, we have been targeting persons, aged 17 to 29.

However, research indicates that there is need to focus on a younger cohort, in order to be in true prevention mode”, she explained.

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