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Youth Crime Watch presents National Youth Crime Prevention conference

May 17, 2012, 2:58 PM

Youth Crime Watch – The Gambia is organising the 1st National Youth Crime Prevention Conference 2012 scheduled for May 23-25, 2012 under the theme, “Combating Crime through Youth Empowerment”.

The conference will be held at the KMC Community Hall, Kanifing, a press release issued by the organisation announced yesterday.

“The aim of the conference is to establish a platform for youth-driven interdisciplinary, multi-sector think-tank that will support the efforts of governments, security agencies and local partners in ensuring enhanced security, development and creating opportunities in The Gambia.”

‘Combating Crime through Youth Empowerment in The Gambia 2012’ is a 3-day event which will attract young people from all  the regions of the country focusing on topics such as terrorism, conflict prevention, citizen orientation, child online protection, cyber-security, culture, entrepreneurship, and rural development.

The release said: “From available statistics, over 60 per cent of crimes, civil unrest, Internet fraud, scam, cybercrime, child labour, terrorism and militancy are perpetrated by young people. It is therefore our joy to be a facilitator of this platform to bring together young Gambian leaders from all corners of The Gambia to help us channel a way out of negativity to positive innovation and creative thinking that will provoke social economic development of our great Gambia.

“As you know, the high rates of crime and violence in The Gambia are undermining growth, threatening human welfare and impeding social development. Indeed, it is unambiguous that crime and violence are a development issue, having direct effects on human welfare in the short term and on economic growth and social development in the longer term.

“One of the most worrying issues we are confronted with in today’s society is drugs, which is interrelated to crime. It is a truism that crime has a negative impact on legitimate business and investment. As crime increases, access to financing declines, spending on formal and informal security measures increases, and worker productivity declines. Moreover, fighting crime diverts limited economic resources from other critical human development sectors such as health and education.

“This Conference provides a unique platform and opportunity to bring together youths to share experiences about the problems that are affecting their lives and develop the creative and leadership qualities while ensuring their drive to be an effective leaders and thus aggrandizing their potential in participating towards national development and empowering towards Crime Prevention.”

The release added that the issue of drug abuse, violence and crime should be the utmost concern of all. One of the worst aspects of these vices is that it affects primarily those who are most vulnerable, such as the youth. They are the most serious emerging problems facing their demography. The challenges young people are faced with growing up has lulled some towards the easy path of turning to criminal activities, violent and drugs for solace, and causing distress to their families by being both dependant and redundant, hence becoming a serious wastage of a valuable national resource and thus propelling the vicious cycle of poverty.