Over the last year, the number of attacks and violent crimes against children has grown in Jamaica, Security Minister Dr. Horace Chang said Wednesday.
Despite the 29 percent decrease in the murders of minors, “compared to last year, the attacks on these vulnerable groups appear to be more heinous and barbaric and is cause for grave concern to the government,” Chang said.
Nearly 13,000 cases of child abuse have been reported to the Child Protection and Family Services Agency in the last nine months. Over 350 of these crimes are categorized as serious offenses.
Activist Dr. Clover Baker-Brown, who represents the Montego Bay, St. James-based rights group, Sarah’s Children, said, “What is happening in Jamaica? For some of us who don't live there and who hear about it, the more frightening it becomes. The numbers are horrible. They are worse than I thought they were.”
During a statement in the House of Representatives, Minister Chang Tuesday, said Jamaicans can “do better as a people and as a nation.”
The state is investigating several legislative electives which hope to provide better security, protection, and justice to the weaker sectors as well as making current investigation processes more efficient. One of the leading initiatives intends to offer rewards in exchange for useful information during investigations.
“We again encourage Jamaicans to come forward and stand up for what is right. No one with information that could lead to the arrest of any criminal should remain silent. The police are depending on the cooperation of all Jamaicans to come forward to assist us in this fight,” he said.