Ignorance driving up domestic violence - cop
The police hierarchy in St Elizabeth believes that rampant illiteracy is driving up the number of domestic-violence cases in the parish.
Speaking at a Gleaner Municipal Corporation Forum in Black River,
St Elizabeth, last week, Deputy Superintendent of Police Paul Bernard, officer in charge of operations in the parish, said of the 10 murders committed in the parish since the start of the year, seven stemmed from domestic disputes.
"I believe it stems from illiteracy, because we have a large percentage of illiteracy in the parish," said Bernard. "People in St Elizabeth don't really talk out their issues. They fight it out and, as a result, someone is killed.
"So when it comes to murder and shootings, we (in St Elizabeth) don't really have the same kind of conflict as our neighbours to the west," explained Bernard.
NEW RESOLUTION STRATEGIES NEEDED
Bernard said new conflict-resolution strategies were needed at all levels of society. This, he said, would not only drive down domestic violence, but would also give the police more time to focus on other crimes such as robberies and break-ins.
"As I speak, we have seven shootings since the start of the year, 10 murders, 28 robberies and 72 break-ins. Compared to last year, we had 13 murders, seven cases of shootings, 18 robberies and 61 break-ins," said Bernard.
While Bernard did not provide statistics on the number of praedial larceny cases in the parish, he said it was in the high double digits and was one of the longstanding issues plaguing the parish and using up resources.
Bernard bemoaned the challenges caused by the lack of adequate resources, which he said was undermining the capacity of the police to effectively carry out their duties. According to him, at present, four of 11 police stations in the division do not have a service vehicle.