More metal detectors ordered for schools
The Ministry of Education has ordered 135 new metal detectors to ensure that all secondary schools have these in place for the new school year.
Director of safety and security in schools at the ministry Sergeant Coolridge Minto, who made the disclosure, said, "Some schools already have, and what we did in May of this year was to do an audit of the metal detectors."
He noted that the use of metal detectors within the secondary school system was not new as detectors were issued to schools in 2008.
"Some of them became defective over time, and so we are replacing the metal detectors that are either damaged or are no longer working," he explained.
In July 2015, Minister of Education Ronald Thwaites informed the House of Representatives that the ministry was in the process of procuring the metal detectors.
He also noted the steady decline in the levels of violence and critical incidents in schools over the past three years.
Data collected by the Community Safety and Security Branch of the Jamaica Constabulary Force indicate that robberies dropped by 83 per cent; thefts, 60 per cent; woundings, 52 per cent; fights, 14 per cent; fatal stabbings, six per cent; while there was a 17 per cent decline in weapons found in school.
In terms of weapons seized, the total number has declined by more than two-thirds over the three-year period, from 1,670 weapons in 2012 to 495 in 2014.