Tyrone Reid, Senior Staff Reporter
Your neighbour could be a dangerous deported sex offender and neither the police nor any other state agency knows.
Jamaica has no official means of keeping tabs on deported perverts and the long-promised sex-offenders' registry has no provision that would allow the State to keep records of such deportees.
Official statistics obtained by The Sunday Gleaner show that between 2008 and 2012, some 244 persons were deported to Jamaica for having committed sex crimes overseas.
In 2012, the statistics show, there was an increase in the number of persons deported for having committed a sexual offence when compared to 2011.
A Sunday Gleaner source revealed that some of the sex offenders being deported to Jamaica have "a laundry list" of serious sex crimes and warned that the country should be very concerned about their movements.
The well-placed source is adamant that Jamaicans should be concerned about the number and categories of sex offenders being expelled from foreign countries and sent home.
"It's frightening. You must be concerned because they might be coming next door to you. Some have a laundry list, that is, multiple offences, including sodomy and paedophilia," said the source, who suggested that some of these deportees might already be contributing to sex crimes in Jamaica.
To bolster that view, the source pointed out that sex crimes are the only category of major crimes that have not recorded a significant reduction in recent months.
Crime statistics published by the police showed that reported rape cases increased in 2012 to 834, up from the 815 cases reported the year before.
In 2011, there were 521 reported cases of carnal abuse and 391 reported cases of sexual intercourse with a person under 16.
A notation published by the police stated that "sexual intercourse with a person under 16 as presented in this report represents sexual assaults committed against a person either male or female after June 29, 2011".
The cops also noted that "carnal abuse, as presented in this report, represents sexual offences against a female only under the age of 16 that was committed prior to June 30, 2011".
The police also cautioned that "due to the fact that sexual intercourse with a person under 16 represents both gender, while carnal abuse represents sexual assaults against females, care should be taken when viewing the data across 2011 and 2012".
For more than three weeks, our news team sought to get responses from the Police High Command on what measures are in place to track these deported sex offenders, but no information was provided.
The police were asked several questions, including whether intelligence gathered has suggested that these deported sex offenders have had an impact on the number of sex crimes committed in Jamaica annually, and how many of the deported sex offenders were categorised as paedophiles.
Yesterday, Dr Carolyn Gomes, executive director of human-rights group Jamaicans for Justice, agreed that the public has a right to know if hardened criminals are being sent back to their neighbourhoods.
"Clearly, if we have dangerous criminals, including murderers and sexual offenders, we need to know so that we can know how we should be responding, so that we can be prepared," said Gomes.
She argued that the public should be told the number of criminals being deported to the island for serious offences, the severity of those offences and what has been done in cases where the deported offenders should be monitored.
The human-rights advocate also lambasted the police for their unwillingness to respond to Sunday Gleaner queries.
"It is really offensive that the police don't want to put forward the data for rational decisions to be made to protect people," said Gomes, as she cautioned that offenders who have served their time should not be penalised again for the crimes they committed firstname.lastname@example.org