Livern Barrett, Gleaner Writer
Clarendon has seen a jump of more than 100 per cent in the number of rapes reported over the first three quarters of this year, the latest police statistics have revealed.
The data, a copy of which was obtained by The Gleaner, shows that 49 cases of rape were recorded in Clarendon between January 1 and September 22, more than twice the 23 recorded for the corresponding period last year.
This is followed by a 58 per cent increase in the number of rapes reported across the St Catherine North Police Division; a 43 per cent increase in Manchester; a 40 per cent increase in Trelawny and a 33 per cent increase across the communities that comprise the St Andrew South Police Division.
Overall, the statistics show that up to last weekend, 626 cases of rape were reported nationally this year, a five per cent increase when compared to the 595 recorded over the corresponding period last year.
Deputy Commissioner of Police Glenmore Hinds, when asked to comment on the spike in rapes, said he was not prepared to do so "at this time".
Superintendent Michael Bailey, who heads the Clarendon police, was at a loss to explain the spike in rapes across the parish.
"I don't know what has led to those increases," he admitted.
Offenders being monitored
As part of the drive to stem the increase, Bailey revealed that several "known offenders" were being monitored by the police.
However, he indicated that the absence of a sex offenders registry was undermining the effectiveness of this measure.
"We can't publish anything (particular on sex offenders) and do the kind of monitoring that we would like to do," he reasoned.
Bailey said the police have been meeting with schools and community groups to sensitise young girls and women about some of the precautionary steps they can take.
For Senior Superintendent Delroy Hewitt, who heads the St Andrew South Police Division, the figures do not give a true indication of the actual number of rapes committed this year.
To substantiate his assertion, Hewitt said some of the cases counted among this year's statistics date back as far as 2009.
"We do not have 64 rapes (in St Andrew South) this year, but as long as the arrest is made in 2012, it is counted as this year," he said in seeking to explain.
Hewitt insisted, however, that police personnel across the division have been targeting sexual predators, but are sometimes hampered by the lack of cooperation from residents, especially in inner-city areas.
Figures for January 1-September 22, 2012 (and same for the corresponding periods since 2009)
This year, there has been a 31 per cent increase. For the period, the figure was 626 in 2012