Child murders and vigilante justice

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

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Dear Editor,

So another child has been murdered, eight-year-old Chantae Skyers, followed by the usual media hype and the flurry of news reports and analyses.

This particular case is even more media-compelling with the added component of the reports of actions of vigilante justice.

Amidst the cacophony of voices, the real questions regarding this and other cases of child murders remain unanswered: Who are those child murderers, and how many have been apprehended and prosecuted? Do we have a profile of the type of person who murders a child? Are there child serial killers amongst us and are they walking scot-free in the society? Most importantly, what can we do to prevent child murders?

Chantae Skyers' death is tragically reminiscent of the similarly gruesome murder of 11-year-old Ananda Dean, after whom the Ananda Alert is named. Alarmingly, after 11 years, no one has been charged or brought to justice for that killing. Who is to tell that Ananda's murderer hasn't murdered other children?

Underpinning the problem of child murders is the persistently nagging issue of the safety of children en route to and from school. Several children have been murdered under those circumstances.

This is where solutions must be sought and implemented, chief among them the need for registered public transportation for schoolchildren.

There is no good reason a fleet of visibly marked and rigorously regulated vehicles and drivers cannot be organised and introduced as exclusive carriers of children. It would give our children and their families a sense of security and peace of mind heretofore unavailable.

Of course, parents have a critical role to play as the first line of safety defence for their children. Walking them to the bus stops and waiting to ensure that they are placed in a known, reliable vehicle is mandatory. The return trip home should be equally monitored.

Continuing to seek viable solutions must override the instincts and actions of vigilante justice. Law enforcement and the justice system must work quickly and efficiently in investigating and solving crimes against children in order to create public confidence and trust that justice will be served.

Vigilante responses within a democratic society are incompatible and unsustainable and cannot be encouraged or condoned regardless of the circumstances.

Betty Ann Blaine

Founder

Hear The Children's Cry

Kingston 5


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