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The Editor Speaks: You don’t put the cart before the horse

Colin Wilsonweb2It has always puzzled me why we spend millions and millions of dollars on police, prison and other security and enforcement measures every year and almost nothing on crime prevention.

Surely if a crime is prevented we don’t need the rest? So why do we put the cart in front of the horse?

Two of our prominent outspoken and respected personalities here, Michael Myles and Bonnie Anglin, don’t understand this philosophy either. They are the chairs of Youth Act. (ACT)

Youth Act stands for Youth Anti-Crime Trust and is a local charity formed to help Cayman’s at-risk youth out of the cycle of poverty, poor parenting and negative communities and influences that leads to crime, by delivering a youth crime prevention programme in the public schools.

1620967_610694619019526_2067767796_nWhy should this charity have to rely on fundraising to do a job that is 100% needed and gets little support from government, private sector and civil society?

Last Thursday (10) Youth Act announced its upcoming initiatives aimed at youth training and employment. The vocational training programmes will offer skills training in plumbing, electrical work, and more.

Myles and Anglin, said they desperately need secure funding to operate these tried and tested programmes that actually work.

Anglin said Youth ACT wants to introduce an age-appropriate version of the programme that currently runs in high schools one day a year in Year 8, into primary schools. She also wants to add at least one follow-up day for older students in Year 10 or 11.

“One day, once a year is just not enough. We need to be able to follow up as this programme has been proven in other jurisdictions to be very effective. The feedback here, too, is exceptionally good and we need to follow up on the impact it has on students later on,” Anglin said.

So why isn’t government listening?

We have talk of a new court house and a new police station that is going to cost millions of dollars, not just to build but to run. We have crime knocking on our own back door. Crime deters tourists coming here and that costs us millions of lost dollars. So to understand the reluctance of government to pour some money into PREVENTION is astonishing. It is quite frankly stupid.

In the mean time whilst government ponders Youth ACT is pushing ahead with a community clean-up effort to spruce up the area where their vocational programmes will be held – an empty lot in Rock Hole around the corner from George Town Primary School.

The clean-up will take place on Saturday, 19 September starting from 7am.
Youth ACT is urging willing and able members of the public to volunteer and assist with the clean-up project. They also hope it will double up as a training facility. (sports, leisure and community counseling centre) to assist children, parents and provide a safe and healthy place for the community to use.

For more information contact [email protected]

Now why isn’t my cart moving? I have the horse hitched up behind it!


  1. Youth ACT and volunteers (which included children from the area that attend GT Primary School) had a successful clean-up this morning. A big Thank You to all.


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