Task-Force To Address Curbing Of Crime And Violence Commissioned

Prime Minister Hon Dr. Terrance Drew, in his capacity as Minister of National Security, has commissioned a National Security Taskforce to initiate the rollout of a new initiative that approaches crime and violence from a public health perspective.

According to PM Drew, the creation of the task force is indicative of his government’s commitment to the maintenance of law and order and the safety and security of citizens and residents. It also highlights the recognition that sustainable national development and maintenance of law and order are directly related.

The Taskforce comprises of the Prime Minister Drew as Chairman, Dr. Izben Williams and senior management officials from across Government, including the Ministry of National Security, the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Social Development.
Dr. Izben Williams, a renowned Consultant Psychiatrist, Founder and President of the Ripple Institute SKN, Professor and Head of the Department of Behavioral Sciences & Medical Ethics, and Associate Dean of Faculty Affairs and Faculty Development at Windsor University School of Medicine, will lead the initiative as the expert in the field across the region.

Dr. Williams was the keynote speaker at the Regional Symposium to address Crime and Violence as a Public Health Issue – The Crime Challenge held in April 2023 in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago.
“Violence can be prevented. We now have the knowledge, we have developed tools, and we must now harness the courage to face up to it and reverse its trend. Violence is now clearly recognized as a public health problem, but just 40 years ago the words “violence” and “health” were rarely used in the same sentence. Several serendipitous occurrences and observed trends contributed to a growing recognition and acceptance that violence could and should be addressed from a public health vantage,” Dr. Williams stated, in his feature address.
The team is currently developing a comprehensive and scientifically proven action plan to implement and to sustain a culture of non-violence within the Federation.

“Societal peace and stability are prerequisites for true social and economic development and for the accomplishment of our progressive Sustainable Island State Agenda. I strongly believe that what is learned can be unlearned if there is early application of best-practice interventions from various sectors,” Prime Minister Drew said.
The initiative will take a holistic approach incorporating national security, social development, education, and health.
Several programs will be rolled out to target children ages six (6) to twelve (12) years and adolescents ages thirteen (13) to nineteen (19) years, to help remodel their thinking and behavior, through improved  conflict resolution skills, critical thinking and analytical skills. These initiatives are also going to be platforms to boost their self-esteem.
In addition to social interventions, the concept will embrace criminal justice by enhancing law enforcement initiatives and reviewing some of our current laws.

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