Booklet will explain gang culture and offer intervention strategies
Government aims to take some of the mystery out of the gang culture with a user-friendly manual for families.
National Security Minister Wayne Perinchief yesterday announced the booklet will be unveiled on February 22 at a public assembly designed to get community input in the fight against violence.
He told the House of Assembly the document will set out clear information on gang mentality, their signs and symbols, and contain intervention strategies for families.
“This handy reference guide will eliminate the mystery that surrounds the gang culture, detail why it is attractive to some of our young people and empower ordinary citizens with the knowledge required to reclaim their families, loved ones and communities,” Mr Perinchief said in a Ministerial Statement.
He said momentum on all fronts is critical to “seize the initiative from any attraction luring our young people to the gang lifestyle”.
The public assembly will include front-line public officers, volunteers, community workers and “ordinary citizens engaged in grassroots efforts to combat the challenge of the gang culture”.
Mr Perinchief explained: “It is important that people know just what is being done and by whom.
“Sharing experiences is an important first step in aligning services in the community and eliminating gaps in that service.
“I expect to hear real people sharing the strategies they have employed in this effort and the team from the Ministry of National Security will carefully record best practices and note what is required to supplement their efforts.”
He said in the past week he has discussed the issue with Ministerial colleagues, sports leaders and police chiefs.
“A common thread has emerged from these discussions: the need for action on a variety of fronts and the need to equip ordinary citizens with the knowledge required to individually and collectively play a part in reversing the destructive trend towards the gang lifestyle,” he said.
“Bermuda cannot afford complacency in the challenge we face, nor can we rely on others to meet the issue which defines the times in which we live.
“This Government’s commitment is seen in the constant attention devoted to this issue. Our aim is to restore that sense of community and to empower citizens as equal partners in this important work.”