Caribbean Fever - Your ONLY destination to all things Caribbean and more
Sex crimes against children are on the rise in Trinidad and Tobago and, according to police, the majority are occurring within families.
Even more alarming is that the majority of cases remain unresolved, the Child Protection Unit (CPU) of the T&T Police Service has reported.
Acting Superintendent Beverly Rodriguez and Inspector Beverly Paul of the CPU told the weekly press briefing that since its establishment in May 2015, the Unit has investigated 3,108 cases.
Of that number, 986 were probed between May and December 2015. That figure more than doubled last year with 2,122 cases.
Paul expressed concern that while police had settled 591 matters last year and 271 the previous year, 722 cases were still before the law courts.
Girls between the ages of 12 and 16 accounted for most of the offences – some 775 over the period under review – while 260 boys between six and 11 were victims.
“This is a very grave concern for us,” said Rodriguez. “Children are not to be pushed into any sexual activity.”
Paul raised alarm that the majority of the cases involved sexual penetration and sexual touching.
She added that male relatives were often identified as the perpetrators.
The law enforcers have appealed to the public to speak out against any incidents of child sex abuse, warning that victims suffered tremendous trauma.