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PM Commits to Reforms as he Mourns Murder of Three Year Old


Prime Minister Andrew Holness today said he is mourning with the nation and keeping a close
watch on the investigation into the murder of a three-year-old girl in St Ann.

Prime Minister Holness said he has had conversations with the Police Commissioner Dr Karl Williams,
who assured him that all is being done to bring the killer or killers of the child to justice: “The
government is clear and adamant that we will do whatever we can to deal with these gruesome and
indecent acts, especially against our women and children. This is a sincere commitment by myself
and our cabinet. I understand that good progress is being made in the investigation and I believe
this is one case where the perpetrator or perpetrators will not get away”.

He also revealed that Minister in charge of Gender Affairs, Hon. Olivia Grange will give a
statement during her Sectoral Presentation on issues related to gender based violence tomorrow
(Tuesday, July 12). “Minister Grange will be updating the nation on the delayed Joint Select
Committee to recommend amendments to the Offences Against the Person Act, the Sexual Offences Act,
the Domestic Violence Act and The Child Care and Protection Act. This process was delayed and there
has been no meeting since December 2014. We plan to restart that process and finally get these
reforms in place”.

The Prime Minister added that the suggestion by his team then was to define, redefine or augment
offences and punishments to be applied to the murder of pregnant women and other forms of violence
against women and children. “We cannot continue on a path where the most vulnerable are targets. We
must enhance penalties to act as deterrents or as appropriate punishment.”

In imploring all Jamaicans to be parents to all children, Prime Minister Holness urged all citizens
to protect children as if they were their own. He stated that the community has an important
role to play in alerting the authorities to suspicious activities related to children.

There has been loud outcry regarding the murder of a three year old child in St. Ann. PM Holness has reacted to this outrage (see release attached).

There are police reports that the parents will be charged for allegedly breaching the Child Protection Act. The parents are believed to have left their two infants at home unprotected.

Also a person of interest is being sought. The police has called on citizens not to attack and harm this person of interest as he is not a suspect. “Do not take the law in your own hands” Inspector Lindsay, Director of The Constabulary Communications Unit (CCU).

We appeal to both person of interest and the public to cooperate with the police so the investigation can be concluded quickly and successfully.

Vision Condemns this senseless attack on the three year old and apparent negligence of guardians.

Hopeton O’Connor-Dennie is Senior International Correspondent & photojournalist for Vision Newspaper Canada.

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