St. John’s Antigua- A project designed by police to reduce the number of young people becoming involved in criminal activities inaugurated its 2012 edition yesterday.
Over 80 children between the ages of 10 and 16 are being exposed to people who have found creative and productive ways to avoid a life of crime.
Director of the project, Senior Sergeant William Holder, told OBSERVER Media yesterday that the mentors booked for the first day included one of the greatest cricketers who ever lived.
“We were privileged to have Sir Vivian Richards. He started off with our first presentation and he touched on the topic ‘making the right choices’, and no doubt he shared from his standpoint as the outstanding West Indies cricketer. He had to make some choices, so he lectured the children from that standpoint,” the senior sergeant said.
Officers from the Fire Department and attorney-at-law Samantha Marshall also addressed participants about ways to avoid breaking the law and some of the ramifications of participating in illegal activities.
Although the police summer camp runs for one week only, Holder said participants would receive continued exposure to positive role models. He explained that the police summer camp has teamed with organisations that are helping to train children now rather than trying to rehabilitate them as adults later on.
“This is our aim, so that we would select especially those who are well behaved and those that we see great potential in to incorporate them into other programmes, so that they would continue,” he said.
Previous participants have been selected for a project, which is preparing them to compete in a US-based robotics expo.
This is the third annual police summer camp, which is operating under the theme: ‘It’s better to train a child than to repair a man’.
Senior Sergeant Holder has expressed thanks to groups like Street Pastors for helping to make the initiative a success.