Chang says cops are tackling sex crimesThursday, April 15, 2021
Minister of National Security Dr Horace Chang says that the Government is making an effort to reduce rape and other types of sexual violence in Jamaica by improving facilities that deal with them.
Dr Chang was opening the debate on a motion seeking a further 60-day extension for the four zones of special operations (ZOSOs) – August Town, Denham Town, Greenwich Town, and Mount Salem. The motion was eventually approved.
He said that one of the most difficult criminal issue still facing the police has been the under-reporting of sexual crimes by victims.
“There has been under-reporting of rape and other sexual offences for a long time but, while there is no indication that the level of under-reporting has been increasing, the Jamaica Constabulary Force and the Ministry of National Security can only report what we have,” Dr Chang said.
“I would like to take the opportunity to encourage all victims of sexual harassment, rape, sexual assault and any other form of illicit sexual activity to report those criminal activities to the police,” he stated.
Dr Chang said that the Government has taken steps to sensitise all members of the constabulary on how to deal with sexual crimes.
He said that the ministry's capital budget spending on rebuilding and rehabilitating police stations will ensure that the buildings have redesigned entrances to the stations to accommodate privacy in dealing with civilians.
“We have moved from the guard rooms to reception areas, and all the redesigned stations will have private areas where individuals will be able to speak with a relevant officer in safety and in a quiet area, in an attempt to make it far more relevant,” he said.
Chang also welcomed the availability of new technology which, he said, has assisted the police to be informed about crimes quicker, and respond faster and with more efficiency in identifying and apprehending accused individuals.
He said that the emergence of social media and similar technology has allowed the public to review raw images from crime scenes, in almost real time, and have raised the sensitivity of citizens to inter-gang warfare in inner-city areas which they would normally have ignored.
— Balford Henry
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