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Sunday, 23 May 2010

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Strengthen police vigilance on child crime - Minister Karalliyadde

The strict police vigilance on child crime should be further strengthened to curb its menace to society, said Child Development and Womenís Empowerment Minister Tissa Karalliyadde.

In each police station a special police officer should be assigned to attend to matters relating to child safety and other connected activities. Priority should be given to implement an islandwide program to prevent child crime rather than take action after the incident is reported, he said.

Colombo Universityís Senior Sociology lecturer Jagath Wellawatta said while the narcotic crime rate had gone down last year, child crime is on the increase. The community police which played a vital role in tracing the LTTE activists specially in the outstations can be deployed to bring to book the alleged child crime suspects, he said.

A National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) spokesman said that the current laws against child crimes such as kidnapping and trafficking are very strict. The law enforcement authorities should work more efficiently to apprehend the suspects to be dealt with according to law, he said.

He said that the negligence on the part of the parents is one of the main reasons for the present predicament.

He said that incidents relating to child crime, child kidnapping and disappearances should be complained without delay to the closest police station or to NCPA through its hot line 1929.

A 15-year-old schoolgirl who was kidnapped and kept in secret places forcibly during the last ten months by the kidnapper, a youngman from the victimís own village was arrested last week by the police.

Similar incidents are being reported very often. This growing threat should be stopped soon, he said.

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