Two stabbings in less than a week. One fatal. Should we be alarmed? We should. We’re a small society and two is too many.
The question we should ask ourselves is are we doing enough to prevent such incidents from happening.
It is the summer break and the youth are out in the streets.
Have we prepared enough to ensure there are enough activities to keep them occupied?
There may be some activities being held to engage the youth but not enough. Additionally, these activities usually attract those who are already good at something, i.e. dancing or athletics.
It is not these youth we’re too concerned with. It is those who may be underperforming in school and those who have not found a passion.
We need to identify activities to be held during school breaks that would attract these youth.
Not all will be attracted. Therefore, it is important that we reach out to them during the breaks.
There are volunteer groups available today, such as the Friends of Police, the police-youth groups, those who’ve defeated their addictions. More groups could be organised including those who’ve been rehabilitated after being penalised for crimes, concerned parents and citizens, and the religious, among others.
Groups like these that can play a very crucial role in reaching out to these youth, in speaking to them about the consequences of crime, and to help them find direction in life.
We already know that the youth are going to be pushing boundaries during their breaks. We need our police to be out in force during these two weeks. Having them in large numbers would serve as a deterrent. Having them go up and talk to groups of youth loitering around, just to find out what they’re up to, and get some feedback about any potential trouble, could prevent crimes from happening.
Finally, we come back to the easy accessibility to alcohol. While there are rules in place and periodic inspections. There is a need for even stricter enforcement of laws when it comes to selling alcohol to minors.
It is a common knowledge that sales of alcohol to the underaged and closure rules are flouted, especially in the periphery areas. When rules are flouted, that means, the offenders are not afraid of the consequences or the enforcers. There is a need to identify why and reverse this situation. We need to keep our youth out of trouble and safe.