Minister of Youth and Community Empowerment Adrian Forde has issued a plea for young people to put down the weapons.

But he also warns them that Government will not allow the criminal element to take over the country.

His comments come against the background of a number of violent incidents with Barbados recording seven murders for the year so far.

The Minister was speaking this afternoon at the launch of the 2019 Youth Achieving Results program at the Ministry’s Sky  Mall office.