by Linda Straker
- Sex Crimes Unit recorded 51 reports in first quarter of 2021
- Most men charged for sexually related offences involving minors are above the age of 50
- Minors are under the age of 8
- Age of sexual consent in Grenada is 16
Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell is concerned about the growing number of child abuse incidents in Grenada and is suggesting that the relevant persons convene a session to determine an approach to tackle this social scourge.
“There is a lot of abuse in the education system; a lot of children are being used by vicious characters who have no regard for the children that they hurt. When someone is damaged at a young age, it is difficult for them to get back on track, therefore we must seriously address this issue,” Dr Mitchell said in a meeting with senior staffers in the Ministry of Education.
Suggesting that a meeting be convened among the relevant persons to determine the way forward, a news release from the Government Information Service (GIS) said that the issue of sexual exploitation of minors was one of the main talking points at a meeting last week Wednesday with senior education officials, as the Prime Minister continued his series of ministry engagements.
During its first-quarter news conference for 2021, the police disclosed that data from its Sex Crime Unit is showing that most men charged for sexually related offences involving minors are above the age of 50, and the minors are under the age of 8.
“A major concern from the data that we collected is accused persons over 50 years of age and the victim 8 years and under. We had an accused 59 years whose victim was 3 years; we had an accused 51 years, the victim 5 years; an accused 50 years, the victim 6 years; accused 57 years, the victim 7 years,” said Inspector Maureen Stanisclaus of the Sex Crimes Unit of the RGPF.
“These incidents are persons who were known to the victims, they were not strangers,” said Stanisclaus who shared the data during the 2021 first quarter briefing of the RGPF. “This is of great concern to us. We need members of the community to help us to reduce these incidents,” she said.
So far, all the victims for the men above 50 are females and the crimes fall in the category of indecent or sexual offences. Incident offences are mainly exposing the body parts and touching of breast, buttocks etc, while sexual offences include oral sex, use of object or fingers to penetrate the vagina and or anus of minors.
For the first quarter of 2021, the Sex Crimes Unit recorded 51 reports when compared to 2020 when there were 33 reports — an increase of 64.7%. “Of that number our concern and the concern of the RGPF is the age group 11 to 16. In 2021 of the 51 reports received 26 reports were of the age group 11 to 16 as compared to 2020 where there were 33 reports and 16 was from the age group 11 to 16,” she said while calling on the public to continue reporting known or suspected incidents to her Unit.
The age of sexual consent in Grenada is 16.