Over View: Generally, most adolescents and teenagers are on a path, which leads to them becoming productive adults. However, there are those who are at significant risk of veering off that path because they may engage in behaviours with negative consequences, such as drug abuse, alcohol use, unprotected sexual activity or violence.
The Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force cognizant that a number of cultural influences lay the foundation for some of the problems facing children and youth, has strategically initiated the Police Youth Clubs to alleviate factors that create risk and negative social behaviours.
The activities put on by the Police Youth Clubs are strategically designed to help equip children, youth and parents with essential tools that they need to make safe and healthy choices. They are also given facts that they need to know about illicit drug use, under-age drinking, self-control strategies and alternatives to make the best decisions when they are confronted with challenging situations.
The Police Youths Clubs are interactive organizations under the ambit of the Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force, which engage participants through various activities such as presentations, lectures, camps, field trips, physical training, drills, games and sports, church service, talent display and fund raising activities. At present, there are approximately twenty five (25) Police Youth Clubs throughout St.Vincent and the Grenadines.
Police Youth Clubs were introduced in the Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force in September 2000 through the efforts of Mr. Arden Tannis, now retired Inspector of Police. A Club was started in Barrouallie with five boys. Over the ongoing months the numbers increased as parents in the community saw the benefits of such initiative. The Barrouallie Police Youth Club was officially launched on July 15, 2001, with 135 members comprised of both males and females ages ranging from 7-18.
The Calliaqua Police Youth Club was established in October 2002 through the initiative of Mr. Bertram Cumberbatch, now retired Superintendent of Police. Sometime later, the Redemption Sharpes Police Youth Club came on stream under the command of retired Inspector Arden Tannis. These two (2) individuals single handedly undertook the responsibly of running the Clubs. They must be commended for their efforts, as a number of the initial members have since joined the ranks of the Police Force. In 2009, former Commissioner of Police, Mr. Keith Miller gave directives to a Committee comprising of senior members of the Police Force to oversee the restructuring of Police Youth Clubs and to embrace all Police Districts throughout St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Thus, an official policy to govern Police Youth Clubs was adopted by the Committee and sanctioned by the Commissioner of Police. Hereinafter named:- The Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Youth Clubs. Inspector Arden Tannis was then appointed National Co-ordinator of Police Youth Clubs. A number of District co-ordinators were appointed to set up Youth Clubs in the various Police Districts. Sgt. Cecile Mc Master succeeded Inspector Tannis as the National Co-ordinator. She retired from the Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines police Force in August 2014. Cpl 358 Loraine John has since been appointed as the new National Co-ordinator and Sgt Meldon James Deputy National co-ordinator. To date, there are twenty-four (24) established Police Youth Clubs throughout St. Vincent and the Grenadines with a membership of over 1,500. Namely: