Rapist rumour has Portlanders on tenterhooks
THE EDITOR, Sir:
Recently, there has been a wanted-person alert circulating on social media for a robber-rapist on the loose in Portland. To date, the police have not formally come forward to abnegate or endorse the alert. While it is true that the police did not publish this alert, it has caused mass hysteria among the citizenry.
To this end, ordinary members of the police force in the division have taken on the responsibility to dispel the rumours via postings on their personal Facebook pages. Often, these posts contradict each other, thus the stories lack credibility, which then heighten the level of fear among the citizens.
The reality is that persons are panic-stricken because of the rumour. The situation has affected the economy of an already economically fragile parish. Productivity time is lost because women are leaving work long in advance of the specified time to reach home before it gets dark. Some students are late for school because they fear leaving home too early. There is also a general fear in the minds of most people in Portland, which hampers their productive activities.
The Portland Police Division, at this material time, is yet to make a formal statement on the matter. Given a sensitive issue as rape, I believe that the woman superintendent in charge of the division should have made a public statement to refute the rumours and reassure the public of their safety and security.
Might I proudly add that the division was recently rated among the top divisions in Jamaica. Portland is also Jamaica's safest parish. This feat was achieved by the hard work of the policemen and women of the division and law-abiding citizens who refuse to embrace crime and violence.
As a resident, I am disappointed in the nonchalant manner in which this situation is being handled by the directorate of the police division. The people of Portland need to be reassured of their safety.
MONIQUE OATES (JP)