‘Our responsibility to children' (ORC) project to be implemented schools

The city police have worked out a plan to arrest the rising trend of minors getting into conflict with law. The school-based project, ‘Our responsibility to children' (ORC), to be implemented in association with several agencies, will have a series of proactive measures.

The project will develop a strategy for prevention and early intervention. A team of experts will offer counselling services and conduct sensitisation programmes for young people. Voluntary agencies will work with the Juvenile Police Wing and Student

Police Cadet to bring young offenders back to society, City Police Commissioner P. Vijayan told The Hindu here on Sunday. Mr. Vijayan and Kozhikode Medical College Institute of Palliative Medicine Director K. Suresh Kumar will oversee the execution of the project.

A team of professionals will carry out a detailed assessment of juveniles to address their emotional, psychological, social and educational needs, he said. Counselling services, mentorship projects, educational support and job-oriented training would ensure responsible behaviour, Mr. Vijayan said.

The emotional and social rehabilitation package will include programmes for parents also, he said.

The youngsters would be involved in creative and social support programmes including sports, cultural activities, volunteering with social service organisations etc. Local and institution-based groups would monitor young people, he said.

Teenagers had been getting involved in offences like theft, robbery, destruction of public property, alcohol and drug use and violence. Nearly 32 minors, directly involved in 17 cases of stealing vehicles, had been arrested in the recent past.

“Cases of stealing cash and mobile phones were on the rise. A large number of young people are involved in criminal activities like selling stolen goods and destruction of evidence related to these crimes,” Mr. Vijayan said.

In addition to this alarmingly high number of recorded offences by young people, there are indications that teenagers including girls on various campuses in the city are involved in socially deviant activities including illicit use of drugs. Youngsters in conflict with the law are potential targets for recruitment by anti-social and terrorist outfits, he said.

The police will seek the help of social service organisations and individuals to build a broad societal consensus to create an environment of corrective rather than punitive approach, he said.

The Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Indian Medical Association, Rotary Club, Department of Sociology at Devagiri St. Joseph's College and Farook College; Parent Teacher Associations, residents' associations and the Calicut Press Club would associate with the project, Mr. Vijayan said.

  • Focus on prevention, early intervention
  • Mentorship projects, job training planned