- Slightly more than 20% of all criminal acts committed in the city of Boston, Massachusetts are attributed to citizens of Cape Verdean origin, according to data from the Boston Police Department. The figure is disquieting, particularly considering the fact that the Cape Verdean community represents less than 3% of the total population of the Massachusetts state capital.
The figures have caused concern among Boston-based Cape Verdean community leaders. The Cape Verdean Consulate in Boston has appealed to Cape Verdean families emigrating to the United States to seek out support services to assist them in integrating into what is for them a new society.
According to one consulate source, Cape Verdean immigrants in the area can make their way to a number of different associations, churches or even the consulate to seek counseling and advice.
“No one comes here to become a criminal and get deported. The United States has a society with opportunities for education, work and employment. And it’s parents’ responsibility to see that their children don’t get involved in crime,” explains our source.
In the perspective of our source, young Cape Verdeans experience some difficulty becoming integrated in schools, and communications problems exist between children and their parents. “The children learn English and their parents aren’t prepared to keep up with them. There are a lot of new things that leave younger people exposed to messages they shouldn’t be hearing. For example, in Cape Verde there are one or two television channels, while in Boston there are some 400, and not all of them are appropriate for youngsters, but parents aren’t aware of this.”
The fact that the Cape Verdean community “lives a good part of its life on the street” also favors easier exposure to violent situations, adds the source.
“It is necessary to carry out prevention work with parents, in particular. They need to be more responsible for their children. We have many success stories in our immigrant community, but it’s no coincidence that there are more problems with the Cape Verdean community. After all, the Haitians, who come from a particularly violent society, have a community three times larger than the Cape Verdean community in Boston but are not linked to crime,” says the source.
The debate on crime within the Cape Verdean community in Boston was reignited last week following the murder of two young men from a family with origins on the island of Fogo.
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