June 13, 2023 -Jamaica’s Minister of Education and Youth, Fayval Williams on Monday announced that Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras are to be installed at primary schools to enhance safety and security measures.
Williams was speaking at the Braeton Primary and Infant School in Portmore, St Catherine, during a special devotion at the institution.
The new measure comes after the death of 8-year-old student Danielle Rowe who was abducted from the institution on June 8. She was later found with her throat slashed and taken to the hospital where she succumbed to her injuries on June 10.
“We’ve generally reserved CCTVs, or safety cameras, for high schools, especially those in vulnerable areas. But having seen what has happened here at this very quiet primary and infant school, we have to begin to increase the safety and security… so, at the very least, when there is a situation, we can at least get some footage,” Williams said.
Minister Williams also commended grief counselors at the school who are working with teachers and students who engaged with Danielle.
She further said that the ministry is committed to supporting Danielle’s mom during this difficult time.
“We know that there’ll be many expenses associated with this… unexpected expenses; and so, we are committing to be with her through all of that,” the minister said.
Williams continued by stating that the perpetrators involved “should not be allowed to be among us [innocent civilians]”.
“That person or those persons should be put away for a very long time,” she added.
Meanwhile, the Commanding Officer for the St Catherine South Police Division, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Christopher Phillips has urged principals of schools within the Division to “do your best to establish a safety and security committee to meet at least once per quarter”.
SSP Phillips said the Division is prepared to have a police officer help the schools review and respond to incidents, or “obvious security gaps” that may be developing.
He has also suggested that the School Safety and Security Policy, as it relates to all institutions, be updated so that it “speaks to the modern reality and that which creates standard procedures on school safety and security.”
Phillips further advised the public not to distribute false information about the case on social media, adding that the “Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) has more than enough competent investigators who are equipped to handle cases of this nature.”