ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Antigua & Barbuda is actively participating in a study initiated by the Regional Security System (RSS) to take an in-depth look at gangs across the region as regional heads seek to devise a prescription to combat gang violence.
The RSS is working closely with the Arizona State University in the study, which is expected to be completed by year-end.
National Security Minister and Chairman of RSS Dr Errol Cort explained that the twin-island state, which has had its share of challenges with this scourge, stands to benefit from the study.
“We all expect to benefit from that particular study in terms of policy prescription to better able to deal with the challenges of youth and gang violence. That is an area of tremendous concern for us here in Antigua. We have had challenges at various schools and coming out of those challenges, we have had to set up an inter-ministerial committee to look at that issue,” the minister said.
Dr Cort said the inter-ministerial committee is expected to re-convene shortly to look at a report from the technical persons within his ministry and the Ministry of Education to determine the way forward with the idea of rolling out some of these policies within the next school term.
RSS Co-ordinator, Grantley Watson, in a released issued to the media, indicated that the researchers are compiling the information so that the relevant authorities will be informed of what is at hand in the countries, and programmes which can be developed and considered for implementation.
Dr Cort said the situation at hand would take a collaborative effortt from the government and key agencies, such as the churches, schools and parents working over and beyond to assist the youth.
(More in today’s Daily OBSERVER)