Sunday, November 9, 2008

Don't Panic

Police urge public to remain calm amid growing reports of abduction, rape.
Saturday, November 08, 2008

THE police high command has urged members of the public not to panic in the face of a growing number of reports of the abduction and rape of women and young girls across the island, saying many of the reports were nothing more than rumours.

In fact, the police said there has been an almost 46 per cent drop in abduction and rape cases this year over the comparative period last year. According to the police, 57 persons were abducted - 56 of whom were raped - between January 1 and yesterday. One was robbed. Over the same period last year, 125 persons were abducted - 121 of whom were raped. There were 96 cases of abduction and rape over the same period in 2006.

At a press conference yesterday at the police commissioner's office in St Andrew, Acting Deputy Commissioner of Police Owen Ellington said numerous false reports of abductions were causing unnecessary fear and hysteria.

"There is a lot of speculation and misinformation out there, the situation is being blown out of proportion. We are appealing to the public to remain calm, not to cause your lifestyle to be too disrupted," Ellington said.

Yesterday, more reports of abductions surfaced involving students of the prominent Wolmers' Girls and Calabar High schools in St Andrew. On Thursday, students of the Mona High School were left in a state of panic after rumours swirled that four of their own had been abducted.

All the reports, DCP Ellington said, turned out to be false. In fact, he said the police had received at least 20 false reports over this week - a situation which caused a strain on the police's limited resources.

The senior cop, however, promised that the police would continue responding to the calls as they come.

Members of the public, particularly women and young girls, have been gripped with fear and worry since the abduction and killing of 11-year-old Ananda Dean in September.
Ananda's badly decomposed body was found in a gully in Cypress Hall, St Andrew, more than a week after she went missing while on her way home from Swallowfield All-Age School.

Only two weeks ago, the burnt body of 27-year-old pharmacist Terry-Ann Thompson was found in Chancery Hall. Thompson was abducted and raped before she was killed.

Meanwhile, the police are still searching for 14-year-old Jhaneel Goulbourne who was snatched from her gate in Harbour View, St Andrew by armed men more than a week ago. Jhaneel is the complainant in a carnal abuse case against a police constable.

And just yesterday officers from the Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse confirmed that two women were abducted outside a fast food restaurant in Liguanea, St Andrew and raped.

Yesterday, the crime chief, Deputy Commissioner Mark Shields, said although the abduction and rape figures were down, the incidence of sexual crimes were still a major concern. "We do have a serious problem with sexual offences," Shields told reporters.
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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

first thing I thought was SSIs