The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service is urging parents to take an active role and interest in their children’s activities this holiday season.
The message comes from the Family Support Unit, which is concerned about what children might get up to if left unsupervised over the festive period.
Since 1 January there have been 16 cases of defilement reported to the police. Defilement relates to the engagement of sexual activity with girls younger than 16.
‘Although 16 is not a particularly high number, we are concerned about cases taking place that and are not being reported to police,’ said Head of the Family Support Unit Inspector Claudia Brady. ‘It can be hard for parents if they know their child is getting involved with an older man who may be a family friend or someone they know and trust, but the law is the law and it is in place to protect young girls. Parents need to know that if they do not come forward, they are putting their child at risk.’
The FSU is asking parents to take an active interest in who their children are spending time with, where they are going, what activities they are getting up to and how they spend their time while away from school over the Christmas season.
‘Speak with your children, ask them questions about their friends and play an active role in their life,’ advised Inspector Brady. ‘And if you have any concerns about what they are doing or who they are doing it with, it is your responsibility to protect and care for them.
We are here to help and advise and welcome the opportunity to assist parents and families.’