Spike in rape cases in Trelawny worries senior cop


Spike in rape cases in Trelawny worries senior cop

Observer West writer

Thursday, September 24, 2020

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FALMOUTH, Trelawny -Commanding officer for the Trelawny Police Division Superintendent Kirk Ricketts has expressed concern about the spike in rape cases even as the parish has seen a 30 per cent decline in major crimes.

Addressing the recent regular monthly general meeting of the Trelawny Municipal Corporation, Superintendent Ricketts said since the start of the year, there has been a 50 per cent increase in reported cases of rape in Trelawny, when compared to the corresponding period last year.

He added that 95 cases of major crimes have been committed in the parish so far this year, compared to 135 committed over the similar period in 2019.

He further revealed that there has also been an uptick in underage pregnancies, arguing that it could be attributed to students being out of school due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We have made arrests in 12 of the 18 incidents [of rape] since the start of this year. What we have seen though, in terms of attributing this increase, we are seeing an uptick in underage girls presenting with pregnancy so that is something that we are looking at from the CISOCA [Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse] level. What we find that is when a mother would find out that the child is pregnant and investigations leading from that, invariably you'll find that in some of the instances the child would indicate that so-and-so raped her. At that age they can't give consent, so it would be classified as statutory rape,” explained Superintendent Ricketts.

“We had anticipated an increase in aggravated assault and rape because students are out of school and some are restricted to working from home due to COVID-19. Normally, when persons are cooped up together, you'll find an increase in aggravated assaults and rape incidents. In anticipating that, we try to be as responsive as possible to any calls requiring our assistance so all my station managers have been briefed so that we can intervene as soon as possible, and get the required outside agencies to assist where possible.”

And giving a breakdown of other major crimes in the parish, Superintendent Ricketts told the meeting that up to September 10, there have been 15 incidents of murder compared to 19 in 2019, a reduction of roughly 21 per cent. “There have been seven incidents of shooting compared to 17 last year, which is a 59 per cent reduction; there have been seven robberies compared to 14 in 2019, a 50 per cent reduction, and also a reduction in break-ins— 26 compared to 49 last year. However, we are seeing an increase in incidents of rape with 18 incidents compared to 12 last year which is an increase of 50 per cent. That is the only major crime that is going in the opposite direction, the direction that we don't want it go,” he said.

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