Police say public transport, social networking sites being used to target victims
Sex offenders have been using public transport, social networking sites, and job advertisements to target victims, the police have reported. According to Deputy Superintendent Gloria Davis-Simpson, head of the Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse (CISOCA), reports have shown an increase in the number of public transportation operators, social network site users, and phoney employers who have been accused of sexual offences this year.
Davis-Simpson made the disclosure during a press conference yesterday in which the police named the island's 12 most wanted alleged sex offenders.
"Taxi operators have been observed as one of the main perpetrators of rape, and also bus operators and conductors. Females responding to daily advertisements (for jobs) are also targeted," said Davis-Simpson.
"Females also meet perpetrators at bars, at parties, nightclubs, and also via social network sites, and are targeted and raped," the CISOCA head said, adding that since January 1, there has been a considerable number of women who have been lured away and raped by perpetrators who promised them gifts.
Davis-Simpson said communities in the Kingston East, St Andrew Central, St Andrew North, and St Andrew South police divisions were having the largest numbers of reports of sexual offences. She listed taxi operators plying the Hope Road, Constant Spring, Stony Hill, Lawrence Tavern, and Duhaney Park routes as being among the main perpetrators.
While gang rapes are not as frequent, Davis-Simpson said the practice is increasingly becoming a concern in many secondary and tertiary level institutions.
"A number of university students are gang-raped by friends. Sometimes these come to our attention but no formal reports have been made," Davis-Simpson said, explaining that on many occasions victims are too afraid and ashamed to seek assistance from the police.
While she could not immediately provide statistics to support her claims, the superintendent noted that there have been indications of an increase in buggery offences — especially since April — and that six-year-old boys were primarily the targets.
"These children are many times targeted by family members; older boys, 17 years old; and fathers, in the case of incest. This is now becoming a worrying sign to us," she said.
Police reported that 668 persons were raped last year, while 695 and 849 were raped in 2009 and 2008, respectively. There were a total of 538,578, and 610 reported cases of carnal abuse in the respective periods.
At least one of the 12 alleged sex offenders is a taxi operator. Assistant Police Commissioner Ealan Powell said statements, medical records and other evidence have been collected against each of them.
Those listed are:
* Anthony Hephard, 20, otherwise called 'Papa', who is wanted for carnal abuse. He is of dark complexion, slim build, and has a scar over the left side of his face. He frequents downtown Kingston and sections of Olympic Gardens, also in Kingston.
* Everton McDonald, 17, who is wanted for carnal abuse. He is said to be short, of dark complexion, slim build, and has thick eyebrows. He frequents areas of East Street in downtown Kingston.
* Romeo Anthony Kelly, 20, who is wanted for carnal abuse. He is of dark complexion, five feet, four inches tall and has a tattoo across his upper right arm. He is said to frequent the community of Fletcher's Land and areas of North Street in Kingston.
* Marvin Hawthorne, 35, also called 'Mr Fret' and 'Reddy-Reddy' a taxi operator, is wanted for rape. He is of fair complexion, medium build, and about five feet, nine inches tall. Hawthorne also has a scar in the centre of his forehead and thick eyebrows. He frequents Studley Park Road and other areas of Allman Town.
* Dimitri Hyatt, 20, otherwise called 'Bleachy', who is wanted for carnal abuse. He is of dark complexion, slim build, and is said to be tall with bowed legs. He frequents areas of downtown Kingston.
* Junior Phipps, otherwise called 'Shelly', who is wanted for rape. He is of brown complexion, medium build, and has a scar from his nose to his mouth. He frequents the Bull Bay community in east Kingston.
* Dwayne Francis, 27, who is wanted for a case of carnal abuse. He is of dark complexion, medium build, and about five feet, seven inches tall, black hair, and a long face. He frequents Franklyn Town in Kingston.
* Michael McKenzie, who is wanted for carnal abuse. He is of brown complexion, medium build, and about five feet, six inches tall. His ears are both pierced. He frequents Langston Road and Mountain View Avenue in Kingston.
* Junior Daley, 17, who is wanted in connection with a case of carnal abuse. Daley is tall and of a dark complexion, and slim build. He frequents the 'Lizard Town' and Denham Town communities in Kingston.
* Kimarley Kellyman, who is wanted for carnal abuse. He is approximately five feet, nine inches tall, slim build, of a light complexion, and frequents the Denham Town community and other areas of downtown Kingston.
* Phillip Parkinson, 24, who is wanted for rape and indecent assault. Parkinson is about five feet, five inches tall, of brown complexion, slim build, with bowed legs.
* Remoll Wright, also called 'Buzzy', who is wanted for carnal abuse. Wright is approximately five feet tall, and is of brown complexion. He frequents the Goulbourne district and Lawrence Tavern communities in St Andrew.