Regional

Rape alarm

Police urge residents to combat sickening problem

BY RENAE DIXON
Observer staff reporter
dixonr@jamaicaobserver.com

Monday, September 17, 2018

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SIXTEEN people have been raped in St Mary since January. Seven took place in the parish capital, Port Maria.

Head of the St Mary Police Division, Superintendent Bobette Morgan made the disclosure while speaking at a meeting of the St Mary Municipal Corporation last Thursday.

According to Morgan, the police have made several arrests but the challenge is to get family members to cooperate with the investigations. The crimes, she said, are oftentimes incestuous.

The senior officer noted that the recurring crime is a “serious cause for concern”, as three cases were reported within the last two weeks.

In the meantime, Morgan said that there has been a high number of break-ins in the parish and urged residents to be on the alert and also to look out for strange people in their communities.

Since the start of the year, there have been 30 break-ins in the parish, with many of these incidents occurring in upscale neighbourhoods.

“Be the police in your area. Look out for strange people,” Superintendent Morgan said.

She mentioned that the main perpetrator is a woman who targets properties of owners who are at work or away before calling in her accomplices.

Morgan stressed that the crimes are the work of criminals who are wanted in other parishes but have migrated to the north-eastern parish. The superintendent gave an example of a man who was wanted in St Elizabeth but was living in St Mary for years before he was caught.

“Quite a number of wanted persons have been held in St Mary,” she said.

She also gave a breakdown of other crimes which have occurred in the parish since the start of the year.

St Mary has recorded 22 murders so far this year and the police have made 10 arrests. There have been 17 cases of shooting, most of which are gang related, Superintendent Morgan said. She stated that 16 cases of aggravated assault and 11 cases of robbery have so far been recorded.

And while Annotto Bay has been known for gang-related activities, Morgan said the community has been relatively quiet in the last few months.

However, she said the police will not ease up on the operational activities in the area. Morgan said the police have also been pushing a number of social activities in that section of the island.

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