KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent – Vincentian-Canadian Nailah John, the coordinator of a Facebook group aimed at fighting crime and violence here, hopes that its 2,300 members will respond when called upon to act.
“I hope that Facebook will be my first tool. My website is in the process of being built. That is my other tool and addressing the people in the newspaper and on the radio is one of my other tools,” John told I-Witness News.
But while the “Time to stand together against violence and crime in SVG” on Saturday announced a search for Cane Garden resident Menaleus Jocelyn, 78, who has been missing since Boxing Day, only four persons participated in each of the two search conducted that day.
John said that the group is not merely a forum for person to chronicle incidents of crime and violence here.
“It is not a news source,” she said of the group where member discuss and write about crime and violence here.
“It has brought a lot of people in St. Vincent together and it had brought a lot of people to say we have had enough, we will stand up. We cannot tolerate this violence and crime,” she said.
John, who is based in Canada and has a degree in sociology and criminology, believes early parenting, lack of proper parenting, and a breakdown in the family structure contribute to the crime and violence situation here.
She also mentioned unemployment, lack of education and a belief among some women that a man does not love them if he does not beat them.
Both the police and the pubic say each other is uncooperative in the fight against crime and violence, John further said.
She told I-Witness News that some people seem to think that they can just kill others, noting the case of Alvisha Browne, 19, who died after being shot in the head at Ottley Hall Wednesday night.
John further said that there are reports that some female Community College students prostitute themselves to buy credit for their hand-held devices and that her organisation will speak to the director of the college in this regard.
The Facebook group is supported by the Canada-based Leave Out Violence in SVG Association, which aims to “eradicate violence from the mind set of our people through education, awareness and rehabilitation within our communities”.
The association hopes to establish a home for battered women and abused and homeless children.
It also wants to safeguard the good values of the society for peaceful, prosperous and harmonious living among all and to encourage Vincentians to embrace conflict resolution and other alternatives to violence.
The group is planning several activities aimed at countering crime and violence here.