Children are among the most vulnerable groups of our society, and we owe them a life free from abuse and fear .The Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) has been working tirelessly to ensure the safety of all Jamaicans, however the recent murder of Danielle Rowe on June 8 has highlighted the issue of the safety of our children especially with the onset of the summer holidays.

Whilst the JCF will be intensifying its efforts to keep our children safe during the period Commissioner of Police Major General Antony Anderson is calling on Jamaicans to forge a partnership to achieve this. “We can all do our part to create a safe environment for our children and be invested in the safety and security of our communities,” he said.

Parents and guardians are being encouraged to increase supervision of their children as knowing what they are doing at home, on or offline and at social events is of utmost importance. Summertime is usually the time for parties and enjoyment and parents are being asked to be extra vigilant as drug use and abuse is still a cause for concern. The Commissioner reported that there is a growing trend involving the sale and use of recreational drugs such as Molly or Ecstasy at these events. He went further to urge parents to discourage the use of these drugs, while the police work to address the criminal aspects of the matter.

As the police work to physically protect the nation’s children safeguarding them virtually is also important. Children are very proficient in using electronic devices and the internet, which are

commonplace in our daily lives. While surfing the internet can be entertaining and informative for kids, there are other occasions when it can be dangerous. Therefore, as a parent, it is crucial that you keep an eye on how your kids use the internet.

However, in cases where constant supervision is not possible children should be knowledgeable about online safety practices, constantly reminded to travel in groups at all times, stick to busy and well lit roads as well as to stay alert by keeping electronic devices off or turned down to ensure that they can see and hear what is happening around them.

Protecting children is everyone’s responsibility and we encourage you to raise concerns should they suspect the safety of a child is at risk. We can all do our share to help create surroundings that are safe for kids and fully protect them, allowing them to live, learn, grow, and develop to their fullest potential.