#Infographic: By The Numbers: Jamaica’s 2016 Crime Statistics

At her first press conference on Wednesday, January 11, 2017 to announce her 90-day crime-fighting plan, acting commissioner of police, Novelette Grant, issued a press release detailing some of the accomplishments of the Jamaica Constabulary Force in 2016. The press release included statistics on the numbers of murders committed in the country in 2016. We have transformed this information into infographics.

Number and categories of murders committed

Posted in #behindthenews, #diGoftheday, Crime and Security, Data Journalism, Infographics, Jamaica, News, Numbers, Statistics Tagged with: , , , , ,

6 Things You Need To Know Today

Your news in a nutshell

  1. #MoravianSexScandal: Committee identified to probe allegations against Moravian ministers
  2. #Hampton principal challenges Ministry-ordered leave
  3. #Fire at Carib Cement
  4. #More ganja smoking among motorists
  5. #New Road Traffic Act draws closer
  6. #Debushing programme costs escalate

1. #MoravianSexScandal: Committee identified to probe allegations against Moravian ministers

The acting president of the Moravian Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands Reverend Phyllis Smith says the members of an independent committee have now been identified to probe complaints against two senior ministers. See full story on The Gleaner’s website.

2. Hampton principal challenges Ministry-ordered leave

Heather Murray, principal of the St Elizabeth-based Hampton School, is challenging the education ministry’s decision to send her on two weeks’ leave. See full story on The Gleaner’s website.

3. Fire at Carib Cement

There was a small fire inside an administrative building at the Caribbean Cement Company Limited in Rockfort, St Andrew yesterday. Several administrative offices were destroyed when the fire reportedly reignited later in the night. See full story on The Gleaner’s website, as well as the update on the reignition.

4. More ganja smoking among motorists

One in six males admitted to driving under the influence of some sort of dangerous substance, while one in 17 females did the same, according to a new survey, which stakeholders believe is putting people’s lives in extreme danger. Many admitted to using ganja, in light of the recent decriminalisation of two ounces. Pointing to data in the recently released 2016 National Drug Prevalence Survey, Michael Tucker, executive director at the National Council on Drug Abuse, is expressing serious concerns with the findings. See full story on The Gleaner’s website.

5. New Road Traffic Act draws closer

Debate on the new Road Traffic Act is expected to continue in Parliament today, with Prime Minister Andrew Holness scheduled to make his contribution. Justice Minister Delroy Chuck said the bill will shortly be passed by the House of Representatives. See full story on The Gleaner’s website.

6. Debushing programme costs escalate

A parliamentary committee is to turn up the heat today on the National Works Agency (NWA), the government body that is spearheading the controversial debushing programme. See full story on The Gleaner’s website.

Posted in 6 Things You Need To Know Today, Hot Topics, Jamaica, Lists, News Tagged with: , , , ,

A Timeline of the Jamaica Moravian Church Sex Scandal 2016-2017

From the end of December 2016 to January 2017, the Jamaican church community was rocked by what has come to be termed the #MoravianSexScandal. Here’s a timeline of how the events unfolded, as reported by Jamaican newspapers The Gleaner and THE STAR.


Wednesday, December 28, 2016

64-year-old Rupert Clarke, pastor at the Nazareth Moravian Church in Manchester, is arrested after he was allegedly caught having sex with a minor in a motor vehicle in St Elizabeth.


Friday, December 30, 2017

Clarke is suspended from the church with immediate effect pending the outcome of the criminal investigation.


Tuesday, January 3, 2017

The St Elizabeth police charge Clarke with having sex with a minor.


Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Speaking at a post-Cabinet press briefing, Minister of Education and Information Ruel Reid, says the Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse (CISOCA) intends to charge Clarke with carnal abuse resulting from an alleged sexual relationship with one of the minor’s sisters.

The bail hearing for Rupert Clarke takes place at the St Elizabeth Parish Court. He is granted bail in the sum of $800,000. The hearing is attended by Hampton School principal, Heather Murray, who faces backlash on social media for trying, at one stage, to block The Gleaner‘s photographer from taking a photograph of the Moravian minister.


Thursday, January 5, 2017

The Gleaner publishes the first of a two-part article by Dr Canute Thompson, a former Moravian minister, on the church and moral leadership.

Hampton School principal Heather Murray issues a statement seeking to explain why she decided to attend the bail hearing of Rupert Clarke.


Friday, January 6, 2017

President of the Moravian Church Rev Dr Paul Gardner responds to former Moravian Minister Dr Canute Thompson, who raised concerns about the church and moral leadership.


Sunday, January 8, 2017

A group of 14 women stage a peaceful protest at the Nazareth Moravian Church in Manchester, rallying support for the 15-year-old St Elizabeth girl allegedly abused by Rupert Clarke, the pastor of the congregation.


Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Dr Canute Thompson produces emails dating back to 2014 which prove that leadership of the Moravian Church, including Dr Paul Gardner, were aware of the allegations against Clarke. Thompson said he was “constrained to release the private email with the church president because he was left uncomfortable following Gardner’s denial on Friday that there were previous adverse reports against Clarke”.

Women who were allegedly abused by Moravian ministers while in their teens begin to speak out. Social commentator and gender specialist Nadeen Spence, who grew up in the Moravian Church, is among the people seeking to help the victims.


Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Hampton Principal Heather Murray is sent on two weeks’ leave.The Education Ministry says Murray is also expected to go for professional counselling services given what was described as her recent emotional stress. She issues an apology for her behaviour at Clarke’s bail hearing.


Thursday, January 12, 2017

Dr Paul Gardner, the president of the Moravian Church in Jamaica, and Jermaine Gibson, vice-president of the church, both resign from their respective posts.

The bishops of the Moravian Church in Jamaica and The Grand Cayman indicate that an independent committee will be set up to investigate allegations brought against president Dr Paul Gardner and vice-president Jermaine Gibson.

Moravian Bishop Stanley Clarke, who was scheduled to give the keynote address at the National Leadership Prayer Breakfast, withdraws.


Saturday, January 14, 2017

Reverend Phyllis Smith-Seymour, who has assumed the role of acting president of the Moravian Church of Jamaica, issues a statement saying that the Moravian Church has been left “battered” and “wounded”.


Sunday, January 15, 2017: Sections of a letter detailing one woman’s ordeal after getting sexually involved with a Moravian minister is reported in The Sunday Gleaner stating, among other things, that the minister’s wife was aware of the illicit affair.

Former President of the Moravian Church in Jamaica, Dr Paul Gardner, resigns as chairman of the Teacher Services Commission (TSC).


Monday, January 16, 2017

A new speaker, Dr Burchell Taylor, Pastor of Bethel Baptist Church in Half-Way Tree, St Andrew, is confirmed for the National Prayer Breakfast, following the withdrawal of Bishop Stanley Clarke of the Moravian Church, who was originally slated to be guest speaker.


Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Acting president of the Moravian Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands Reverend Phyllis Smith says the members of an independent committee have now been identified to probe complaints against Dr Paul Gardner and Jermaine Gibson.

Heather Murray challenges the education ministry’s decision to send her on two weeks’ leave.

 


Please note that this post will be updated as the story continues to unfold.

Posted in Abuse, Children, Gender, Hot Topics, Jamaica, Men, News, Uncategorized, Women Tagged with: , , ,

6 Things You Need To Know Today

Your news in a nutshell

  1. Gangsters wiped out
  2. Five of six ski-mask gunmen identified
  3. Nurse shortage crippling Clarendon health sector
  4. Short-term housing for Clifton boys after fire destroys home
  5. SRHA meets with mother of 3-y-o who died while being treated at hospital
  6. Former Moravian Church president resigns from Teachers’ Services Commission

1. Gangsters wiped out

Six alleged gangsters, three of whom are St James’ most wanted men, were killed in a blazing gun battle with a police-military patrol in the quiet Goodwill community, which is located on the St James-Trelawny border, shortly after 9:30 p.m. on Saturday. See full story on The Gleaner’s website.

2. Five of six ski-mask gunmen identified

The police have now released the identities of five of the six alleged gunmen killed in Goodwill, at the border of St James and Trelawny. See full story on The Gleaner’s website.

3. Nurse shortage crippling Clarendon health sector

Medical Officer of Health for Clarendon, Dr Kimberly Scarlett Campbell, says the Clarendon Health Department is severely impacted by a shortage of nurses affecting the health sector generally. See full story on The Gleaner’s website.

4. Short-term housing for Clifton boys after home destroyed by fire

Twenty-eight wards of the state at the Clifton Boys Home in Darliston, Westmoreland, are now in temporary housing following a fire at the facility yesterday afternoon. The Child Development Agency (CDA) says the fire started sometime after 4 o’clock and destroyed the main building. See full story on The Gleaner’s website.

5. SRHA meet with mother of 3-y-o who died while being treated at hospital

Officials of the Southern Regional Health Authority (SRHA) are to meet tomorrow with the mother of a three-year-old child who died while undergoing treatment at the May Pen hospital on January 6. See full story on The Gleaner’s website.

6. Former Moravian Church president resigns from Teachers’ Services Commission

The Ministry of Education last night confirmed the resignation of Dr Paul Gardner as chairman of the Teacher Services Commission (TSC). Gardner, who has been embroiled in the sex scandal currently rocking the Moravian church in Jamaica, submitted his resignation yesterday with immediate effect by way of a letter to Education Minister Ruel Reid. See full story on The Gleaner’s website.

Posted in 6 Things You Need To Know Today, Hot Topics, Lists, News Tagged with: , , , ,

#Infographic: How To Report Child Abuse In Jamaica

Child abuse is a serious issue about which every well-meaning adult should be concerned. Children are consistently among the most vulnerable in our population, and it is left to adults to ensure that they do everything necessary to protect them. The truth is that child abuse is also a very delicate issue, and many persons do not know how to properly deal with information on something sensitive. Here are some easily shareable infographics detailing guidelines for reporting child abuse in Jamaica.

What happens if you don’t report child abuse?

What To Report

How To Report

 


Information sourced from The Jamaica Gleaner’s website: OCR urges Jamaicans to Report Child Abuse

Posted in #diGoftheday, Child Month, Children, Family, General Information, How To, Infographics, Jamaica, Uncategorized, Youth Tagged with: , , ,

6 Things You Need To Know Today

Your news in a nutshell

  1. Moravian mess
  2. Independent Commission to probe allegations against Moravian ministers
  3. Moravian ministers sex scandal saga continues
  4. Fire at Bustamante Children’s Hospital
  5. OCR urges Jamaicans to report child abuse
  6. Longer wait under new vehicle fitness certificate system

1. Moravian mess

The fallout from the sex scandal rocking the Moravian Church in Jamaica worsened yesterday when two of the most powerful members of the church administration stepped aside. See full story on The Gleaner’s website.

2. Independent committee to probe allegations against Moravian ministers

The bishops of the Moravian Church in Jamaica are to set up an independent committee to investigate allegations brought against president Dr Paul Gardner and vice-president Jermaine Gibson. See full story on The Gleaner’s website.

3. Moravian ministers sex scandal saga continues

Outgoing President of the Moravian Church in Jamaica Dr Paul Gardner could be stepping down as the Chairman of the Teachers’ Services Commission, and the National Leadership Prayer Breakfast Committee is now‎ making arrangements for a new guest speaker for the 37th National Leadership Prayer Breakfast after the withdrawal of the Moravian bishop who was scheduled to give the keynote address. See full story on The Gleaner’s website:

4. Fire at Bustamante Children’s Hospital

One health worker is now being treated for smoke inhalation following a fire at the Bustamante Children’s Hospital late yesterday evening. See full story on The Gleaner’s website.

5. OCR urges Jamaicans to report child abuse

The Office of the Children’s Registry (OCR) is reminding Jamaicans of their duty to report incidents of child abuse. Given the recent spate of child abuse cases in the country, the ORC is warning that persons who know or suspect that a child is being abused and fail to make a report to Registry could find themselves in trouble with the law. See full story on The Gleaner’s website.

6. Longer waiting under new vehicle fitness certificate system

Complaints from persons renewing fitness certificates for their vehicles at the Swallowfield Examination Depot in St Andrew that they were being badly inconvenienced by the length of time it took for them to get through using the newly implemented motor vehicle management system have not fallen on deaf ears. See full story on The Gleaner’s website.

Posted in 6 Things You Need To Know Today, Hot Topics, Jamaica, Lists, News Tagged with: , , , , ,

The Next 90 Days: The Full Text of Novelette Grant’s Crime Fighting Plan

Acting Commissioner and chief of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), Novelette Grant, announced her 90-day crime-fighting plan at her first press conference on Wednesday, January 11, 2017. Below is the full text of the section of her press release dealing with ‘The Next 90 Days’:

Acting Commissioner of Police, Novelette Grant

THE NEXT 90 DAYS

We have no miracles – yes, I said it again. For my 90 days as Acting Commissioner of Police, my team and I do not promise to work miracles. However, what we promise to do is to work together, and continue to partner with key stakeholders.

Internal:

As part of our internal strategic focus, we will ensure members are energised to take on the dangerous and difficult task of policing in Jamaica, particularly in high risk communities. The restoration of internal order is critical to effecting public order. We acknowledge gaps in how we operate and we’ll be working to get better, more effective presence and performance.

  • Employee motivation and morale is high on the agenda
  • Performance and output
  • Accountability
  • Discipline and conduct

We want to remind all officers that the hallmark of professional policing is moral courage – the ability to do that which is right in the face of criticism, scorn, mockery, lack of appreciation, adversity and opposition. In the words of esteemed poet Alfred Tennyson’s words – “Because right is right, to follow right, were wisdom in the scorn of consequence.” We will do the right thing.

External:

  • Increased focus on violence reduction – strategic and focused deployment of assets, especially in high crime divisions
  • Renewed focus on maintenance on public order – we expect compliance from citizens and the police to enforce the law, without fair or favour
  • A number of initiatives are already in place, they just need to be refocused and re-tooled
  • Operation Tidal Wave– will be focused and re-energised, with activities carried out with support of specialist formations and the JDF
  • Community Safety and Security Branch will be a lot more visible to do complementary crime prevention and reduction work – special focus on gender based and domestic violence, youth violence, and community conflict management, and they have been mandated to intensify the work to be done in Western Jamaica
  • Praedial larceny prevention to be ramped up through CSSB
  • Get the Guns campaign – will still be pushed as an internal initiative We accept responsibility to be the lead in getting the guns and arresting offenders, even as we welcome the public’s support
  • Increase in narcotics work
  • Counter-gang and disrupting prolific offenders
Posted in Crime and Security, Jamaica, News Tagged with: ,

6 Things You Need To Know Today

Your news in a nutshell

  1. More courtrooms needed
  2. Hampton principal apologises
  3. Hampton principal gets two weeks leave
  4. Jamaica School of Hospitality coming
  5. Violence spilling into schools
  6. ‘INDECOM is making it worse’

1. More courtrooms needed

The Chief Justice Zaila McCalla says there is now an urgent need for more court rooms and human resources to address the significant increase in criminal cases committed to the Circuit Courts for the Hilary Term. See full story on The Gleaner’s website.

2. Hampton principal apologises

The principal of the Hampton School Heather Murray has issued an apology for her action at the bail hearing of Moravian pastor Rupert Clarke a week ago. Clarke is before the St Elizabeth Parish Court on a charge of having sex with someone under the age of 16 years. See full story on The Gleaner’s website.

3. Hampton principal gets 2 weeks leave

The embattled principal of the St Elizabeth-based Hampton School Heather Murray has been sent on two weeks leave. The Education Ministry says Murray is also expected to go for professional counselling services given what was described as her recent emotional stress. See full story on The Gleaner’s website.

4. Jamaica School of Hospitality coming

The government is to spend $400 million to construct a school and hotel to train individuals to take up high-level jobs in the tourist industry. The announcement was made by tourism minister Edmund Bartlett at a post-Cabinet press briefing at Jamaica House this morning. See full story on The Gleaner’s website.

5. Violence spilling into schools

Principals say conflicts escalate to dangerous levels outside institutions’ walls. The bloodletting taking place in Clarendon is starting to spill into many of the schools, with some students getting caught in the orgy of violence affecting the parish. See full story on The Gleaner’s website.

6. ‘INDECOM is making it worse’

The continued arrests of members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force by the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM) is not going down well with some residents of Havana Heights in Clarendon who claim that the investigatory body is making things easier for the criminals. See full story on The Gleaner’s website.

Posted in 6 Things You Need To Know Today, Hot Topics, Jamaica, Lists, News Tagged with: , , , , ,

#Infographic: What To Know Before Investing In A Stock

There are many persons who have no clue about how the stock market works, or how to judge whether stock is ‘good’ or ‘bad’. To assist and educate readers about this topic, The Gleaner (newspaper) published an article by Dr Andre Haughton explaining what potential investors must look for before investing in any stock. We have summarised the main points in an infographic below. See the entire article on the Gleaner’s website: http://tinyurl.com/z9yg4nw.

Posted in Business, Economics, Finance, General Information, Infographics Tagged with: , , ,

Rebel Salute: 10 Things Every Veteran ‘Saluter’ Knows

Rebel Salute is one of Jamaica’s premier reggae festivals, highlighting the very best in local reggae talent. The festival has been in existence for over two decades, and there are some persons who have never missed a show. Here are 10 things that every veteran Saluter should already know:

Tony Rebel, the conceptualiser and engine behind Rebel Salute, which (in case you missed it) was named in his honour.

1. It is all about Tony Rebel.

Rebel Salute is the brainchild of renowned reggae artiste, Tony Rebel (birth name Patrick George Anthony Barrett). It is held on or around January 15, which is Tony Rebel’s birthday.

2. They use artistes’ proper names.

Rebel Salute is all about conscious music. Even when dancehall artistes are billed to perform, this is usually done under their proper names instead of their stage names, to give them a chance to show their ‘good’ side (according to Tony Rebel). So ‘Lady Saw’ becomes Marion Hall, and Beenie Man becomes Moses Davis.

3. No alcohol, meat, drugs or weapons.

As part of the push for consciousness and livity, Rebel Salute has and enforces very strict rules about what patrons can and cannot bring to the venue. Absolutely no alcohol is allowed. No drugs. No meat (part of the Rastaman’s livity). And no weapons (because we come to appreci-LOVE the music, not to appreci-HATE each other).

4. Flag haffi raise.

This is a result of the mix of Rasta culture and Jamaican stageshow culture. When music sweet yuh (when the music becomes sweet to you or makes you feel sweet), you will have to grab something and wave. Otherwise, you will see authentic Rastafarian flag men waving their ital colours all night long.

5. Chanting ago gwaan.

Yes. Real Saluters know that there will be chanting. This is the natural outcome of a group of culture-conscious Rastafarians gathering in one place. They will chant something at some point in time, or several things at several points in time.

6. Something must get bun’ out.

Whether it be Babylon, ‘di system’, the po-po, oppression, poverty, the devil … something will get ‘bun out’ at Rebel Salute. ‘Bun out’ is a Jamaican patois for ‘burnt out’. In this case, the expression refers to the (purely metaphoric) application of Jah’s holy fire to all impurities and unjust ways of being.

Rasta colours – red, yellow, green – always a staple at Rebel Salute.

7. Red, yellow and green are most appropriate.

This is not a law, but it is kind of like an unspoken rule. Because so many Rastafarians attend Rebel Salute annually, real Saluters know to expect to see these colours all night long. It is the Rastaman’s colours of choice, and this will be evident everywhere.

 8. It’s an all-day, all-night affair.

Rebel Salute is not for the faint of heart. It offers non-stop music from dusk till dawn. Real Saluters know that and prepare for it. So they walk with a blanket, or portable chairs, in case they need to sit down. They have already scouted out where they will source food or water from, or save themselves the expense by bringing their own. And when they get to the venue, they know that they have to find a spot that will work for both the jiving to the music and the rest periods in between.

9. Wear sensible shoes

Directly related to the point above. Because the grounds are mainly grassy, and you will be standing for so long, real Saluters know better than to pull out their spike heels for this event. Especially the ladies. They know that Rebel Salute is about the movement to the music and they dress accordingly.

10. Bring/Wear something to keep you warm.

Because the latest venue for Rebel Salute is by the beach, and there comes an hour when the sea breeze starts to rip through your clothes and deliver a different kind of chills. Be ready. Bring a jacket. Wear comfortable, warm clothing. Real Saluters know this.


Check out our article on 10+ Cool Things To Look Out For At Rebel Salute.

Posted in Culture, Events, Jamaica, Lists, Music and Culture Tagged with: , ,