60 kids murdered in 17 months
The Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) says 60 children were murdered here during the period January 2013 to May this year.
The JCF said, in addition, 99 children were shot and injured by criminals during the same period.
According to the statistics released by the JCF, over the last two months, seven children between the ages seven and 17 years were murdered while one was shot and injured.
As a result, the police are calling on all citizens to redouble their efforts to safeguard children.
The police said they were also concerned about the number of young people becoming involved in gun-related crimes.
According to the figures, for the period January 1, 2013 to May 25, this year, an estimated 44 children were charged with murder, 40 with shooting and 94 with breaches of the Firearms Act.
“Police intelligence suggests that gangs continue to co-opt children in their criminal organisations to commit crimes.
“Children are routinely found to be armed with weapons of all kinds — knives, machetes, even cleverly made home-made firearms, which are believed to be supplied by criminal gangs,” the police said.
The authorities said they were urging parents and guardians to help in the efforts to prevent young people entering into a life of crime and they should also seek assistance from the Child Development Agency, or other appropriate authorities where necessary.
“Children are too precious a resource for well-thinking Jamaicans to stand by and do nothing to help them. Now more than ever, Jamaicans must unite for change; it is our civic duty to care for and protect our children,” the police said.