Sun | Jan 21, 2018

Don't take victims for granted, Reid warns robbers

Published:Tuesday | January 3, 2017 | 12:00 AMJason Cross

Minister of Education, Youth and Information Ruel Reid has issued a strong warning to criminals not to take robbery victims for granted because persons will eventually start fighting back.

"Don't take it for granted that you are just going to be allowed to rob and maim persons. Persons will find opportunities to fight back," Reid stated.

The minister was speaking on the heels of the murder of 17-year-old Calabar High School cricketer Stephan McLaren, who was fatally stabbed on Hagley Park Road early Sunday morning, returning home from a party.

Coming under flak recently for suggesting that students should fight back when under attack, Reid attempted to make his "fight back" statement clear.

"I particularly said, where you are alone and you are outnumbered, then you have to be wise. Give up whatever you have as your possession and seek safety. Run away as fast as you can. If you are in a group and there is one person attacking them, then I am sure you would be able to defend yourself in that context.

"Situation analysis is very key. I don't think you should put yourself in harm's way," Reid said.

He expressed outrage at McLaren's killing while stating that crime will hamper Jamaica's development.

"Again, I am saddened by the death of another youngster and we have to be outraged and we have to demand swift action. I want to appeal to the society that there is too much crime and violence happening. Crime cannot be a part of the way forward for our aspirations [towards being] a developed country and peaceful society," Reid said.

The Half-Way Tree police said McLaren was stabbed by unknown assailants. Passing motorists assisted him to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

McLaren's killing comes approximately two months after that of Jamaica College student Nicholas Francis, who was stabbed on a Coaster bus near his school on Old Hope Road. Nicholas' attacker attempted to relieve him of his cell phone and knapsack.