ASP Roger Alexander has told boys at the Marabella South Secondary School not to follow the path of becoming a "zesser," or criminal, as it would only lead to their demise.
The senior policeman said zessers are men who choose not to work and instead live off other people by robbing, murdering and committing other crimes.
He told the students these criminals are always arrested and locked up.
Alexander was addressing students on Friday at the launch of a programme at the school geared at giving children the opportunity to have mentors to offer positive advice.
This is the second year of the programme and this year’s theme was Charting the Way Forward.
The project is headed by physical education teacher Bernadine Hazard-Charles, who said some of the children at the school are from poverty-stricken areas and are exposed to crime and need to be guided.
Alexander also had some words of advice to girls, telling them to educate themselves and strive to become independent young women.
This, he said, was one of the most important lessons a young lady should learn, so they can buy what they need instead of having to rely solely on a man.
Alexander said the situations in which young women who are not independent find themselves include being put out of a man’s house and left with nowhere to go. He told the students not to let that happen to them.
Instead of taking the time to make idle comments on social media, he said, they should come together and assist each other in different subject areas.
“If your friend is good in English, there is no reason you should not be good at the subject also. You can form groups and come together and help each other succeed and grow.”
School principal Fernando Ramcharitar said that students deserve to know how valuable they are and pointed out that prominent people had taken time off to speak with them. Other speakers included Minister in the Ministry of Education Dr Lovell Francis, and chairman of the Children's Authority Hanif Benjamin.