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PM: Continue to report rape incidents; complete investigations speedily

PM: Continue to report rape incidents; complete investigations speedily

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There needs to be continued reporting of incidents of rape and incest.{{more}}

This was the advice given by Prime Minsiter Dr Ralph Gonsalves, who was at the time responding to a question posed in Parliament by Opposition Senator Anesia Baptiste.

Question 22, a four-part question in the Questions for Oral Answers section, requested that the prime minister state the number of women killed and wounded criminally during the period January 2011 to January 2012.

Gonsalves, Minister of National Security, said last Tuesday, February 28, during the meeting of the House that, based on the statistics over the last 10 years, it is evident that more people are coming forward to report instances of rape, incest and domestic abuse.

Senator Baptiste also requested that the prime minister provide statistics on the number of women killed or wounded as a result of domestic disputes and the corresponding convictions.

However, the prime minister provided statistics for the period January 1999 to January 2000 and the same period from 2011 to 2012.

This, according to him, was because it would better illustrate the progress made when compared to a period of time as opposed to just having one.

The statistics, however, revealed that five women were killed during the latter period (2011 to 2012) compared to three in the earlier period (1999 to 2000).

There were 307 incidents of wounding during 2011 to 2012, compared to 397 in 1999 to 2000; 79 cases of domestic wounding were recorded in the earlier period compared to 209 in the latter.

Incidents of rape remained the same, according to the prime minister, with 56 being reported between 2011 and 2012 and 59 between 1999 and 2000.

The number of incest cases and cases of intercourse with girls under the age of 15 and 13 has increased in the period 2011 to 2012, according to the prime minister.

Cases of sex with girls under 15 were 4 in the earlier period and 81 now, although of the 81 cases, the prime minister revealed that 63 of those offences were committed by one offender.

He contended that it was difficult to provide a number of convictions per year, explaining that the offences committed were indictable offences and because of the judicial process, the outcomes could not be given for individual years.

But while most people may be coming forward and reporting crimes committed against women, the prime minister called on the authorities to make sure that they completed their investigations more speedily.

Gonsalves referred to the formation of a special task unit within the Royal St Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force set up to deal specifically with issues relating to domestic abuse, violence against women and human trafficking.

According to the prime minister, while the unit has not yet been formed, he has been advised that the relevant persons who will make up the unit have been identified.

The unit will be headed by a Superintendent from within the Criminal Investigations Department (C.I.D) and staffed with what he termed as very skilled personnel. (DD)

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