VPA calls for support for intervention programmes in Cambridge, St. James

Civil society group Violence Prevention Alliance (VPA) has called for more support for the implementation of intervention programmes in Cambridge, St. James in the aftermath of the State of Emergency.
In a statement Friday morning, the VPA said the programmes should focus on disengaging residents from potential involvement in gun violence.
The VPA made the call based on a study conducted in Cambridge to identify key drivers of violence and its impact across generational and gender divides. 
The findings from the study show there is a problem in how young people, who are or can potentially be recruited into gangs, are integrated and connected to social services in the community. 
One of the researchers, Tarik Weekes, said one of the glaring things found during the State of Emergency is that young boys were swept up by the police and released afterwards in the community without any contact or follow up by social agencies. 
He said many of the young men interviewed were high school drop outs and part of their daily struggle is looking for employment.
Mr. Weekes pointed out that there was an absence of a violence prevention or support system for Cambridge.
Mr. Weekes has recommended a quick intervention geared at boosting social services and violence prevention in the community and also, ensure that young people have access to these programmes.

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