16 rape cases worry St Mary police
The Jamaica Constabulary Force has said that there is an almost 18 per cent decline in reported cases of rape since the start of this year, but the attacks on females remain a big concern for the police in St Mary.
Last Thursday, head of the St Mary police, Superintendent Bobette Morgan, told the monthly meeting of the St Mary Municipal Corporation that with 16 rapes reported in the parish so far this year, this is one fewer than the 17 reported for the corresponding period last year.
"Rape has become the recurring decimal and is of serious concern to us," said Morgan at the meeting held in Port Maria.
She noted that Port Maria has been the scene of seven of the 16 rapes, with multiple cases also reported in Highgate, Oracabessa, and Retreat, while one case was reported in Annotto Bay and Prospect.
According to Morgan, seven arrests have been made in relation to the rape cases.
She charged that family members, on many occasions, have not been willing to take action to assist in the investigations.
INCREASE IN REPORTED CRIME
Morgan further noted that there has been an increase in the number of crimes reported in St Mary since the year, with the figure rising to 122 as against 109 cases in 2017.
There have been 22 reported murders, with 10 cleared up.
Morgan said that this means arrests have been made in 10 cases and persons charged and taken before the courts.
Seventeen shootings, described as mostly gang related, 16 aggravated assaults, 16 robberies and 30 break-ins have also been reported in St Mary.
Morgan also appealed to the residents of St Mary to be on the alert for criminals who have been filtering into the parish from other parishes.
The police have reported 301 cases of rape across the island since the start of the year, down from 366 last year.
St Catherine South, which covers Portmore, leads the islands with 31 reported cases of rape up to September 8, the same figure reported at that stage last year.
Thirty rape cases have been reported in Westmoreland, a 20 per cent increase over the 20 reported last year, while 29 cases were reported in St Andrew South, which covers areas including Olympic Gardens, Seaview, Maverley, Waterhouse, and Majesty Gardens. The St Andrew South Division has seen five fewer cases of rape this year when compared to last year.
(Editor's Note: The official figures from the JCF list the number of rape cases in St Mary at 10 up to September 8, which was five days before Superintendent Bobette Morgan presented her numbers).