Sexual misconduct is now occurring at a younger age.
Head of the Community Relations Department (CRD) of the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF), Cadet Officer Rebekah Jones informed members of the media that a five-year old male child is being engaged in indecently assaulting female children.
Jones who addressed members of the media during a press conference last week Wednesday said apart from the sexual misconduct by the five-year old, a six-year old has engaged in housebreaking and stealing, and causing harm.
She said it could be concluded that children of such tender ages engaging in such ruthless behaviour are practicing what they are exposed to at the home.
“But for a five-year old and a six-year old to be sexually harassing, seriously harassing children of the opposite sex of his age does give cause for a very, very serious concern,” she told reporters.
Jones spoke of those instances being part of the deviant behaviour of youngsters.
According to her, the age group of deviant behaviour ranges from between 6 and 17, and it has now become a thorny issue, which the RGPF intends to address forcefully.
The Cadet Officer provided the media with some startling statistics, which came into her department, which is responsible for handling schools and deviant behaviour.
Between 2010 and 2011, there were 105 cases of deviant behaviour reported to the police. For 2011 into 2012, the number increased by 55.
According to Jones, female students are now becoming the aggressor.
In terms of fighting and running away from school and home – the female students exceed their male counterparts by two percent.
“Whereas now we’re having a call for female in domestic violence to come forward and speak and rise up and let’s deal with this issue, on the other hand you have the younger females in school taking charge of that realm of violent behaviour,” the CRD Head said.
Jones announced that during the new school year, the RGPF will be seeking to strengthen its partnership with parents and guardians in terms of managing and reducing deviant behaviours in schools.
She said as a result of conducting its own investigations, the RGPF has discovered that the main cause of deviant and delinquent behaviour is due to a break down in the family network at the home level.
The female police officer stated that the CRD would be going directly into the schools to meet with the deviant child who would then lead the lawmen to the home.
Meetings of the Parent/Teachers Association would also be targeted by the RGPF.
“We believe that together we can help direct our nation’s children into being a healthy and productive adult population,” she said.
The female cop singled out as a good role model for the students Olympic and world 400 metres athlete, Kirani James who came from humble beginnings from the village of the volatile Gun Battle in Gouyave, St. John’s, and won a Gold Medal at the London Olympics last month.
Jones said there are many more like James in the schools, but while they may not achieve a Gold Medal in athletics, they can surely be encouraged into achieving their “best Gold Medal” in various other fields.
The CRD Head made a passionate plea for the students to stay away from drugs, which she said, would destroy them and ruin their future.
She pointed to an increase in drug use in the secondary schools.
Jones said it is not nice for police officers who are called out to the schools to investigate those incidents and discovering that the child who is affected is hallucinating after having been exposed to cannabis that is laced with cocaine.
“We encourage you to stay in school, stay away from drugs, stay away from crime. Don’t bring weapons to school, they have no place there, you would only get into trouble,” she remarked.
“We are not amplifying any situation, but it is what it is. These are the facts and it’s real. We have an issue on our hands,” she said.
Jones believes that some of the students’ conduct at school would clearly terrorise the older generation.
She spoke of the need for there to be an increase in truancy officers at the schools.
The female police officer said the RGPF continues to work along with truancy officers, but the level of deviance in the schools calls for an increase in truancy officers.
She also had a word of caution for bus operators who can expect a rough ride from traffic cops.
Jones is advising that there would be an increased presence of radar checks and patrols along the bus routes on the nation’s major roads especially in Boca/Beaulieu, Westerhall/St. David’s, and Happy Hill areas in an effort to curb accidents.
“You must drive our students safely to their destinations and their school,” she warned bus operators.
Jones said there would also be an increase in police presence around the bus terminus in an effort to enforce the traffic regulations.