Fri | Dec 14, 2018

PM: Stop killing our children!

Published:Monday | August 27, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Yetanya ‘Princess’ Francis
Opposition Leader Dr Peter Phillips (left) consoles Latoya Riley, the mother of 14-year-old Yetanya Francis, who was murdered last Thursday in South St Andrew, while MP for the area Mark Golding (centre) reasons with Lionel Francis, the father of the murdered child, yesterday.
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Prime Minister Andrew Holness has warned that Jamaica will not survive if the wanton killing of the nation's children is allowed to continue.

Reacting to the murder of 14-year-old Yetanya 'Princess' Francis of Arnett Gardens, South St Andrew, last week, Holness said the thugs who murdered her have no place in the Jamaican society that "we are seeking to create".

"I have spoken to the minister of national security and the commissioner of police. They both emphasised their resolve to ensure that the perpetrator or perpetrators are brought to justice. No society can survive the constant killing of its children, and we all must stand united against these criminals," said Holness as he urged anyone with information on the killing to report it to the police or to call Crime Stop at 311.

"Witnesses do not need to fear that their information will be exposed as we have Crime Stop - 311 - and other ways to give information. I am asking members of the community of Arnett Gardens as well, if they know who the criminals are, to turn them over to the police as criminals who attack children don't usually stop," added Holness.

In the meantime, Opposition Leader Dr Peter Phillips, who visited the family of the slain teen yesterday, said the killing of Princess represented a new level of brutality and hard-heartedness that no Jamaican can accept.

"If we allow the community to continue like that, then we are no different from the beast of the field," said Phillips.

He argued that the Government has been seeking to solve the crime problem through zones of special operations and states of emergency, but this strategy has been helping to address the issue in some areas while putting others at greater risk.

He also encouraged the residents of the community to share whatever information they have with the police and warned, "If we ever allow a minority of dog-hearted people to destroy our community, then none of us will have a future."

Yetanya left her home for a nearby shop to purchase food last Thursday. When she did not return, a search was launched by residents of the community.

Her nude, partly burnt body was found in a section of the community by residents at about 11:30 a.m. last Friday.