By Sharlyne Eri – EMTV News, Port Moresby
Organisations with community initiatives in settlements must engage more youth in their programs.
Alex Jaffa, the chairman of City Watch Incorporation based in Morata, says this is the way forward in reducing crime within settlements as youths are usually the perpetrators; adding that many youths in Morata have dropped out of school and are now engaged in drugs, alcohol, and petty crimes.
“Most of the youth have dropped out of school for some reason, and are engaged in illegal activities like snatching bags and phones,” he said.
Mr Jaffa further added that engagement of youths in activities such as sports, would greatly uplift their self-esteem and keep them away from illegal activities.
Population Services International (PSI) PNG has recently signed a partnership with Morata leaders for a collective effort with community activists to curb violence against women in the suburb. While most community leaders have welcomed this initiative, others have called for more focus on law and order issues as they are rife in the suburb.
Organisations like the City Watch Inc. are paving a way forward for a safer Morata. The organisation was the initiative of the National Capital District Commission (NCDC) to engage volunteers from the settlements to work along with NCD police and city rangers to maintain law and order in city settlements.
A community leader in Morata, John Yoko, says the level of crime in the suburb is not as bad as it used to be:
“Morata is now a go-zone, before it was a no-go-zone, but now that perception has changed,” Mr Yoko stated.