Mon | Oct 21, 2019

Letter of the Day | Get windscreen cleaners off streets

Published:Friday | September 20, 2019 | 12:26 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

What is the Government doing about the young windscreen cleaners on the roads? For years, as motorists, we notice them – sometimes after school hours, late in the evenings, stepping out as the light turns red to wipe windshields for change.

Does anyone consider how dangerous this is for a child? Does anyone wonder where their parents are? Does anyone care?

It must be noted that most of these youth are males, and they see this task as a quick way to earn money.

CHILD LABOUR

However, if we are building a country that will be the ideal place to live, work, raise families and do businesses, this must be addressed with the appropriate legislation. Even so, the Child Protection and Family Services Agency must investigate these matters.

It is not right for these children to be labouring under circumstances that might put their and their families’ lives at risk. They are operating under the order of older extortionists, who might demand that they give over their earnings or lose their lives.

Back in 2018, acting Commissioner of Police Clifford Blake stated that addressing the matter required more than policing. He said, “With the best crime plan in the world, you are going to have these social issues which are putting these children into the crime pool and into gangs. The best police force in the world will not be able to get the desired results.”

He is correct. However, I remembered when the matter became public debate for a few days and the then head of the Police Traffic Division, Senior Superintendent Calvin Allen, explained that under the proposed new Police Service Act, members of the constabulary could be given the power to arrest, without warrant, with respect to aggressive begging, aggressive vending, loitering and intimidation of individuals, to assist in curbing street crimes.

We are yet to see that happen. For now, the child protection agencies must do more. Get the children off the streets. Find their homes and address the situation. We can’t have them wiping windshields to take care of their families. They are just children. They should be home getting rest for the next day at school.

ANDRE HESLOP

andreheslop9@gmail.com