by Curlan Campbell, NOW Grenada
- Sex Offender Registry should be up for a public debate
- Website can now be accessed by the general public for feedback and information
The establishment of a sex offender registry should be up for a public debate in light of the prevalence of sex crimes in Grenada. This suggestion has been proposed by local Attorney-at-Law and former Attorney General Cajeton Hood.
The former Attorney General is among a team of Grenadians who have partnered to establish a website dedicated to raising awareness, empowering and informing victims of sexual violence. The website www.sexoffencesgrenada.com can now be accessed by the general public and is expected to serve as a launching pad towards the establishment of a sex offenders registry.
The website, created by Nigel Jones, a Grenadian app developer based in Canada, provides people with effective fact-based information about sexual offences, laws, and policies which promote public safety and contact links to various stakeholders including the Royal Grenada Police Force and the Ministry of Social Development. Jones also created PromoGrenada, an iOS and Android mobile application to promote Grenada worldwide.
Hood said that people would be able to provide feedback on the website whether they are in favour of establishing a sex offender’s registry. “The plan is to start the debate, giving people an avenue to express their opinions on that. We can make available to the government information provided by the public and then the parliament can decide what direction they want to take. Yes, people may say it is a small society, and everybody knows everybody, but I don’t believe that. Most of us have young children, and we would want to know if a certain person accused of sex crimes is living in an area, also taking into consideration that there are people convicted of such crimes abroad and are sent back.”
High incidences of sex crimes in Grenada continue to dominate the assizes. From April to May 2018, there were 133 matters before the court, 53 of which were sexual offences. In 2017, approximately 60% of all cases before the courts are related to child sexual abuse.
“The statistics tell us that only a small percentage of sex crimes are actually reported, so that is alarming because when you look at what is on the assizes remember all criminal matters will go through the magistrate court which is a better avenue of tracking the statistics to see how much reports of sex crimes are there. I know for a fact that there are some cases where people are charged, and there are some which compromise is arrived at even before it gets to the high court,” said Hood.
Coming on board to provide technical assistance towards the operation of the website are Glen Sylvester, former warden on Rikers Island; Nimrod Ollivierre former Lieutenant New York City Police Department (NYPD); Educator, Dr Anthony D Bridgeman and Counsellor Hadasha J Buckmire.