The Police Child Protection Unit has given a breakdown of all reports that came to it between May last year and July this year.
In total, the unit received 2595 reports, 30 percent of which involved sexual penetration.
The following is the statement by the Head of the Child Protection Unit, Supt. (Ag.) Odette Lewis:
"The Child Protection Unit of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service was established in May 2015. There are nine Police Divisions and in each division there is a CPU.
The role and function of the Child Protection Unit is to investigate recent matters of sexual offences/abuse, physical abuse, abandonment/neglect and ill treatment of children.
The CPU is mandated through the Children’s Authority Act No. 46:10 to engage in a collaborative relationship with stakeholders to ensure the care and protection of the nation’s children.
Whilst the Child Protection Unit is responsible for investigating crimes perpetrated against children, the Children’s Authority’s responsibility is to simultaneously engage in the psychosocial interventions which assist the child victim to maintain a sense of stability in his/her life.
There have been a total of 2595 reports made to the Child Protection Unit for the period May 2015 to July 17th 2016.
Break Down is as follows:
Of all the reports made within this period there are 520 matters before the court thus far.
Out of all the reports made, sexual penetration has been the most prevalent serious reported crime for the said period, with a total of 603 reported cases thus far, with a percentage of 30%.
Sexual touching follows at 242 reported cases, with a percentage of 10.5%.
Familial relationship (incest) has been found to be at a rate of 27 thus far for the mentioned period with a total of 4.8% percent.
Sexual assault reports came in at 35, with percentages of 5.2%.
Child abuse is reported at 202 with a percentage of 9.8%.
Missing children: these reports stand at 48 with a percentage of 2.5% of the overall reports recorded thus far. Of those children reported missing since the CPU was established 100% have been returned.
Abandonment and neglect: for this crime type, there has been 60 reported cases for the mentioned period, with a percentage of 8.2%.
Teenage pregnancy is at a rate of 68 reported cases thus far, with a percentage of 6% percent.
These cases account for 69.5% of crimes against children investigated by the Child Protection Unit.
The following is the remaining offences that complete the overall reports made to the Child Protection Unit for the period May 2015- to present:
Child Found Wandering
Exposed to Narcotics
Inciting and Facilitating Child Pornography
Males accounted for 22% of the victims for all crime types while Females for the remaining 78%.
During the July-August school vacation period, many of our children are left unsupervised or with minimum supervision due to various factors, one of which is the need for both parents to be breadwinners.
Notwithstanding challenges, parents/guardians are required to make decisions that put the welfare of their children first.
Importantly, do not leave children in the care of persons or organisations whose background is unknown.
Ensure at all times children are left in the care of responsible adults and that emergency numbers are easily accessible.
Also we advise that you make use of the following numbers to report crimes against a child:
Any Police Station
Child Protection Units
Child Protection Secretariat -621-2588
Port of Spain CPU -621-0135
Western CPU- 628-2629 Southern CPU-677-3852
South Western CPU- 648-7080
Tobago CPU- 660-8863/ 480-0226
Central CPU -486-3828
Eastern CPU 691-0756
Northern CPU- 646-7710
North Eastern - 626-3158
Victim and Witness Support Unit- 624-8853
ChildLine 131 or 800-4321
Children’s Authority 996/ 800-2014
Customer Care Hotline 800-TTPS
Child Guidance Clinic 645-2640 ext. 3907
National Family Services 627-1163"
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