JCF reviews missing person protocol after 8-year-old's death

Saturday, April 20, 2019

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COMMISSIONER of Police Major General Antony Anderson says the protocols surrounding missing persons is to be reviewed.

In a statement Thursday, Anderson said instructions have been given for the assessment of the response mechanism and protocols around missing persons to be done.

He said this is being done with the view of ensuring that the Jamaica Constabulary Force's response is in keeping with international best practices for the safe recovery of missing persons.

The commissioner's statement came on the heels of the discovery of the body of a missing child in St Andrew this week.

On Tuesday, the police confirmed that the body that was found in Sterling Castle, St Andrew, was that of Shantae Skyers, an eight-year-old who had gone missing on Thursday, April 11. She was a student of Red Hills Primary School.

In the statement on Thursday, Anderson extended his deepest sympathies to the family and friends of young Shantae.

“We (the JCF) sincerely regret Shantae's tragic passing, and mourn with her family and community members. We are steadfastly focused on our investigations into this gruesome act and are determined to bring the perpetrator(s) to justice, as we continue to give support and security to the community,” the top cop said on Thursday.

The police have maintained contact with the family through Shantae's grandmother, who has been the primary contact since she first made the missing person's report, the commissioner said.

“We assure all that the police remain committed to the protection of our children and all citizens. At the same time, we again urge parents and guardians to increase their vigilance in the safety of their children,” he said.

The commissioner of police also said that in the unfortunate event that a loved one goes missing, people should make a missing person report to the nearest police station immediately.

“Do not wait for 24 hours to elapse before making your report if reasonable steps, such as making contact with the missing person's friends, relatives and associates, were taken to locate the individual proved futile,” Anderson said.

In the meantime, the commissioner also said that the team of police officers who found Shantae's body shares greatly in the grief and is presently receiving counselling.

Anderson also renewed the appeal for individuals with information to contact their nearest police station or share information anonymously through Crime Stop at 311 or by calling the police emergency number, 119.

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