Last week, 30 children in Cayman Brac received certificates and prizes for completing the DARE programme delivered by the RCIPS.
All students from Spot Bay Junior School and West End Primary School who completed the 10-week anti-drugs and violence programme were recognized for their dedication and achievement.
Seven Mile Beach Community Police Officer Jon Siddall flew to the Brac once a week to carry out the programme with the assistance of Cayman Brac Community Police Officer Rob Stewart.
The DARE programme teaches children, ages 10-11, about the dangers of drugs, alcohol, tobacco and violence, said an RCIP press release. The aim to is to provide students with the skills needed to avoid and deal with situations involving any of these.
PC Siddall said: ‘It’s always a pleasure to carry out this programme and this session was no different. Every time I carry out this training I am amazed at the enthusiasm and keen involvement of the children.
‘The programme goes beyond traditional drug abuse and violence prevention programs and I hope all participants gained some valuable skills that will help them to resist the subtle and overt pressures that cause them to experiment with drugs or become involved in gangs or violent activities.’
The RCIPS thanked Cayman Airways which sponsored PC Siddall’s flights to and from the Brac. Police also recognized Lindzi Stewart for her hard work organising displays, handouts, photographs and coverage in the Brac Newsletter.
DARE is universally viewed as an internationally recognized model of community policing. The United States Department of Justice has identified how DARE benefits local communities:
• DARE ‘humanizes’ the police: that is, young people can begin to relate to officers as people;
• DARE permits students to see officers in a helping role, not just an enforcement role;
• DARE. opens lines of communication between law enforcement and youth;
• DARE officers can serve as conduits to provide information beyond drug related topics;
• DARE opens dialogue between the school, police, and parents to deal with other issues.