Fewer children went missing in 2014 than 2013, OCR reports
KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) – The Office of the Children’s Registry (OCR) is reporting a drop in the number of children reported missing in 2014.
Registrar of the OCR, Greig Smith, tells JIS News that there has been a 10 per cent decline in the number of children reported missing for the period January to December 2014 when compared to the corresponding period in 2013.
“In 2013, we recorded over 2,200 children being missing in Jamaica and I am pleased to say that we have reduced that number by 10 per cent; less than 2,000 children went missing in Jamaica for the year 2014,” Smith says.
He informs that 79 per cent of the children reported missing were females, while the remaining 21 were males.
The OCR’s data, sourced directly from the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) Missing Person Monitoring Unit, also revealed that approximately nine out of every 10 children reported missing last year have since returned home.
Additionally, Smith says, there has been a 50 per cent decline in the number of children that were found dead. He informs that 14 children were found dead in 2013 compared to seven in 2014.
Ananda Alert, a nationwide system used for the safe and speedy recovery of missing children, was transferred to the Ministry of Youth and Culture on March 1, 2013, with the OCR assuming responsibility for its operation.
The initiative involves raising public awareness of missing children, and strengthening rescue, recovery and intervention measures that are vital to the welfare of child victims and their families.
Smith, in noting that the system is working “effectively,” attributes its success to the multi-sectoral approach adopted by the OCR in raising the alarm when children go missing and in reuniting them with their families.
Numerous public and private sector organisations and individuals have joined the fight to keep children safe by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), agreeing to receive and broadcast alerts of missing children.