Jodi-Ann Gilpin, Gleaner Writer
Senior Superintendent of Police Steve McGregor, head of the Kingston Central Police Division, is warning delinquent parents that they will be arrested and locked behind bars if their children are found loitering on the streets.
McGregor told The Gleaner yesterday that there has been an increase in the number of children being found on the streets at late hours of the night.
"Can you have your nine- and 12-year-old on the streets at 10 and 11 o'clock at night and you don't think it is your responsibility to ensure that they are with you?" asked McGregor.
"Well, we want the parents to know that we are coming for them, since they don't care. Once we do our checks and see children on the streets, we are going for their parents and we are going to lock them up," he said following a Kingston and St Andrew town-hall meeting held at the Leslie Ridout Hall in Kingston on Wednesday.
McGregor said five parents are currently before the courts in relation to their children's loitering and that the police are preparing "somewhere to go" for two children.
"This is where practices of robbing and murder all begin because our children are exposed to all kinds of things and it can't work," he said. "We have to stem it from early."
Everyone has to do their part
McGregor also said that with heightened business activities taking place in downtown Kingston, everyone has to do their part in keeping the crime level down.
"Business is back downtown, which is good, but the negative side is that there is increased congestion and chaos which is a recipe for crime," he said.
He added: "We are imploring persons to work with us to keep the crime level in Kingston Central the way it is. Persons also have to be on the alert, business owners ensure that you do a security survey before you embark on your businesses. We all have to do our part."