CONCERNED by a recent spike in fights among students in Point Fortin, a group of police officers decided not to arrest and charge three schoolboys for fighting outside their school on Monday afternoon.
Instead, they opted to form a peace pact amongst the students inside the police station.
The peace pact started with the students holding hands and together singing Joy in My Heart together, alongside the policemen, who included Sgt Jones, acting Sgt Andrews, Cpl Bajan and PC Thompson of the Point Fortin station.
Jones then told the three to hug each other and apologise.
A video of the peace pact, which has gone viral on social media, was posted on Facebook by United National Congress local government candidate Aaron Joseph. He said the policemen who initiated the pact should be commended for their approach.
He also recommended that other fights between schoolchildren should be dealt with in a similar way.
Reports said at around 4 pm, police were on patrol near the Point Fortin West Secondary School when they saw a group of students fighting.
The policemen intervened and broke up the fight. They then took the three students, who are 14 and 15, to the police station where they questioned them.
The police decided not to charge the students, but asked them to join hands and sing.
“I’ve got that joy, joy, joy down in my heart,” the students sang as the officers' voices echoed alongside.The video also shows the boys telling each other, “I am really sorry.”
Jones, who heads the Point Fortin station, can be heard telling the students, “You need to stop the fighting. You did not come to school for that. School is a learning institution. The country has enough murders and racial discrimination."
He urged them to focus on their education and stop getting involved in fights.
Jones told Newsday he has noticed that children are planning fights after school hours outside the school, where their peers record the fights and upload the videos to social media.
“It seems to be a new trend that they planning to gain popularity.
"When these children were brought into the station on Monday, my officers and I questioned them and decided to try a different approach.
"Some of these children have a lot of hate in their hearts, and we wanted to show them that fighting with each other was not the solution.”
When contacted Snr Supt Deonarine Basdeo of the South West Division said he had seen the video and was pleased to see how his colleagues had dealt with the fight.
“These are young children, and once charged their character is tarnished.”
Basdeo said though it was not up to him, he believes the policemen should be commended for the way they dealt with the incident.
Comments on the videos included, “Good job officers," “Kudos officers," "We need more policemen like this."