Sun | Dec 5, 2021

Report rape! - Ocho Rios police urge victims to bring crime to their attention, confirm one incident

Published:Friday | January 29, 2021 | 12:08 AMCarl Gilchrist/Gleaner Writer

The St Ann police have confirmed one report of rape in Ocho Rios since the start of the year, and are urging any other such victim to report the matter, as some residents began to express fear following a social-media post alleging four incidents of rape in the resort town in recent times.

For the second week the post has been in circulation, advising females to be extremely careful as “men have been kidnapping and raping females”.

The post alleges that victims are being dragged out of their vehicles or held up at gunpoint and ordered back inside their vehicles, then driven away. It states that one incident happened in the busy town centre, by the clock, another at Pineapple and a third at a jerk centre in that resort town, with the fourth victim, whose location was not listed, currently hospitalised.

Deputy Superintendent of Police Kevon Chambers, who is in charge of the Ocho Rios police, said he has seen the post, but noted that the police are aware of only one incident that occurred earlier this month.

“I know there was one. A lady was reported missing and she was subsequently found wandering by a relative. They took her to the station and they claimed that she was raped,” Chambers said.

The claims come as St Ann grapples with a 78 per cent increase in rape in 2020, when compared to 2019, with the number jumping from nine to 16 cases.

In the single incident for 2021, the official report stated that the alleged victim left her home in Green Pond with a male companion at around 4 p.m. on January 20 and did not return. A missing-person report was later filed. The following day, at around 9 p.m., she was seen wandering along the Ocho Rios bypass by a relative and taken to the Ocho Rios Police Station, where she told police she was raped.