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St Thomas cops to crack down on children after hours

Published:Tuesday | March 11, 2014 | 12:00 AM

The St Thomas police have issued a warning to parents that children seen on the street and at dances after hours, will be taken into protective custody and the parents will have to give an account on their care and protection.

Speaking at the funeral service for eight-year-old Ceelena Headman at the Seaforth High School on Sunday, acting police commander of Island Special Constabulary Force, St George Jackson, stated, "In St Thomas, things are going to change. When we see the children after nine o'clock, we want to know why the parents are not managing their children. Our first intervention might be prosecution of parents, but we are going to send the CDA (Child's Development Agency) to you, we are going to ask them to find out what is happening in your homes, and where there is the need for social enquiry, we are going to send the social worker to you, to find out why the children are not coming home."

He said that many children are seen loitering in the Morant Bay bus park and on the street late at night, and when they do decide to go home, they are often packed in vehicles which have a capacity for 15, but up to 30 passengers are in them.

"When we (police) drive through communities at nights and we see the children at street dances doing the same things the adults are doing, the police in St Thomas will not apologise, we will be taking them into protective custody and address the parents as to why they are there ... ."

He told those mourning the death of Ceelena that under the Child Care and Protection Act, everyone had a responsibility for children. He said the police would crack down on neighbours who failed to report abuses, as the Child Care and Protection Act mandates.