Sat | Jan 19, 2019

Proactive Old Harbour hosts sex-crime forum

Published:Thursday | November 30, 2017 | 12:00 AMCecelia Campbell-Livingston

Last Thursday, sexual crimes and deviancy were put under the microscope in the Hebron Church Hall, Old Harbour.

With the aim being to stop sexual offences committed in the Old Harbour environs, the police, Social Development Commission, United States Agency for International Development Comet II, and the Old Harbour Development Committee took proactive actions with an all-day forum.

Sgt Princess Bayliss Ranger of the Old Harbour Police Station's Community Safety and Security Unit told Rural Xpress that there is a minimal increase in sexual offences and deviances being committed in the community.

"We decided to take a proactive approach by inviting students from the various schools in the community as well as adults to sensitise them on what it is all about," she shared.

The aim, following a full day of sessions, is for the participants to be ambassadors in their communities, knowing what to look for and raising an alarm should it ever occur. The day entailed role plays, presentations from speakers such as Randy Finnikin from the Old Harbour Development Committee, Community Development Officer for the Social Development Commission Monica Gardener, and Kevin Edwards, a counsellor.

Among the topics explored were sexual assault, 'sexting', pornographic distribution on social media as well as sexual harassment. In her presentation, Sgt Ranger stressed the need to campaign against sexual crimes in Old Harbour as well as looking out for each other.


Ambassadors for change


Commenting on her expectations from the forum, Ranger said she is looking to see changes and for participants to return to their communities, institutions and groups to share the message.

"We are challenging them to be good ambassadors, come learn and apply it. We want them to come back and give us a report, because we will be maintaining a network so they can give us some form of report from their institution and from their groups," she said. The sergeant said also that a campaign will be started to eradicate or decrease sex offences committed in the Old Harbour space.