Cops intensify campaign to tackle cases involving missing children
As concerns continue to grow about the number of children going missing across the island, the police have re-issued a call for members of the public to play a greater role in helping the authorities to clamp down on the problem.
Police say they are concerned that when children are reported missing some Jamaicans were not moving quickly enough to report about the development and as a result, the crippling problem continues to escalate.
To address this issue police say they have intensified their island-wide educational campaign to inform persons about what they should do in case a child goes missing.
One of the calls is for concerned citizens to stop waiting for 24 hours to pass before they report cases where children go missing.
Police in a release said as soon as a child goes missing parents/guardians or concerned citizens should report the matter to their nearest police station.
“Provide the officer of duty with all (or as much as you have) on the missing person such as name, age, height, complexion, where/when last seen etc.,” a release from the Corporate Communication Unit stated.
Police said, if available, a photograph of the missing person should be presented to the officer who the matter is being reported to.
Also provide with information about areas where the missing persons would normally frequent.
Calls from police come days after a search to locate eight year-old girl Shantae Skyers, who went missing in Sterling Castle Heights in St Andrew, ended in tragedy after the decomposing body of the child was found.
The child had reportedly left for school dressed in her uniform but failed to return home.
A search party led by the St Andrew North police, which included scores of volunteers, found the child’s body among rubble in an area known as 'Blue Hole' in St Andrew on Tuesday April 16.
The discovery triggered shock across the island and even left several angry social media users lashing out at the police claiming that authorities had not responded fast enough.
Members of the police high command have come out to refute the claims stating that authorities have been keeping contact and working with relative of the child ever since she was reported missing.
Police Commissioner Major General Anderson in a release had however stated that there was still room for improvement in the JCF systems.
He said as a result, “instructions have been given for the response mechanism and protocols around missing persons to be reviewed with the view of ensuring that the JCF’s response is in keeping with international best practices for the safe recovery of missing persons.”