Barrington Flemming, Gleaner Writer
THE HANOVER Victim Support Unit is reporting at least one positive impact from the decline in lottery-scam activities in the parish.
The organisation is claiming that the glamour that used to attract students to scammers is steadily diminishing and is resulting in positive behaviour modification.
Gary Gardner, the coordinator of the Victim Support Unit in the parish, told The Gleaner that for the first six months of the year, the number of incidents of girls being lured away from school by young boys with flashy cars and cash is on the decline.
Gardner, nonetheless, said there is still some amount of concern where people are arrested and let out early, giving the impression that they are untouchables.
"We still have a number of reports of carnal abuse and rape, but we have had a decline in the number of reports we usually receive. Up to June this year, we had 16 rape cases and eight cases of carnal abuse," said Gardner.
"We are still tallying our statistics for some other issues of concern, but indications are pointing to a decline."
According to Gardner, during the period under review, his office received 71 reports of behaviour issues involving school-age children. He said the behaviour is generally triggered by a situation where children try to take advantage of lack of strict supervision.
The report took into account factors such as anger problems, conflicts leading to fights, underlying family issues (recognised after assess-ment), absentee parents and children living in environments they are uncomfortable with.
"In rural areas, parents establish informal boundaries, which are not agreed on by the child or children … . Another problem we encounter is that the line of communication is oftentimes blighted by other concerns including making ends meet, frustration, so what should be normal now becomes a luxury," said Gardner.
He also indicated that there was a parental deficit, which gives rise to behaviour challenge in the children, noting that isolation of parents is almost a retrograde step.