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Unleashing the cops on St James

Bunting says increased security to curb sex violence

Thursday, September 27, 2012    

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NATIONAL Security Minister Peter Bunting says additional security personnel is to be deployed to St James to strengthen the presence in communities that are threatened by sexual predators.

The deployment is in addition to the 125 personnel who were sent to the parish two weeks ago.

The decision came from a meeting yesterday that involved the minister, Police Commissioner Owen Ellington, and Jamaica Defene Force Chief of Staff Major General Antony Anderson.

The meeting follows Monday night's rape of five females, including an eight-year-old, a 14-year-old and a 16-year-old in Irwin in the parish. The two victims were ages 23 and 28.

The five were held up at gunpoint and repeatedly assaulted at their home in the community. The eight-year-old girl had to undergo emergency surgery after the ordeal. The gun also stole cash and other valuables from the house.

Yesterday, Bunting described the incident as "abhorrent" and "repulsive" and expressed sympathy to the victims and their families.

"These men live somewhere and there are persons right now who know who they are, and know of the heinous acts they have committed; they need to turn these criminals in to the police," Minister Bunting said.

The National Security Minister promised that law enforcement personnel will leave no stone unturned in their quest to find the men, noting that investigators will go house-to-house to conduct investigations in the affected communities.

Meanwhile, he said that a senior team from the Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse will work alongside investigators, "providing support and other services".

"The commissioner of police has given the undertaking that a sustained security presence will be maintained in the communities, and all capabilities, including personnel from the Canine Division and Forensics will be sent to St James immediately," Bunting said.

Additionally, he said staff from the Jamaica Constabulary Force Chaplaincy Unit will provide counselling services, while members of the Community Safety Branch will work with the residents to give them some measure of reassurance and bring back confidence to the community.

He, however, urged residents to cooperate fully with the police as they are not immune from similar attacks.

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