Police believe arrested man is part of grooming ring

| 08/03/2024

(CNS): Police are investigating what they believe is an organised grooming ring based in George Town where adult men are luring vulnerable young girls away from school and guardians. Last month, following a report of three missing teenage girls, an RCIPS school liaison officer obtained information showing communication from a man asking a girl to meet him at a George Town park. Officers conducted an operation resulting in the arrest at the park of a 29-year-old man for attempted kidnapping under section 218b of the Penal Code. They then searched a nearby home and found the three missing girls.

The RCIPS said in a press release that investigations so far suggest that the arrested man is part of an organised group of adults grooming young girls. They are seeking information from the community about young people who have been targeted by this type of activity as officers seek to apprehend and prosecute those involved.

“This type of behaviour is unacceptable and should not be tolerated in our society,” said Superintendent Roje Williams. He noted that it not only has a significant, and often permanent, impact “on the future aspirations of the young people involved but also demonstrates a concerning moral breakdown where we have groups of adults in our society believing it’s acceptable to take part in such base and malevolent behaviour”.

This past week, the police investigated five more reports of missing persons. Four of the five people have been located and returned to their residences. However, ongoing investigations into the circumstances surrounding their whereabouts while they were missing suggest that in a number of the cases, adults grooming juveniles was a contributing factor, the RCIPS said.

Police ask anyone who has any information about the people involved in this matter or knows a young person who has been targeted by this type of grooming activity to contact the RCIPS Protective Services at 649-9185.

“We are seeing a growing issue of adults preying on underage children, more predominantly adult men luring female juveniles from school or after school and away from their guardians, and corrupting them in a myriad of ways,” said Chief Superintendent Brad Ebanks. 

Stressing the need to prioritise the protection of young and vulnerable people in the community, he said that adults who are responsible for young people should remain alert to their interactions on mobile phones and the company they keep and ensure they have reliable, safe forms of transport to and from school each day.

The RCIPS warned that anyone engaging in this type of grooming activity or who helps or condones perpetrators will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

See the sections of the Penal Code that deal with enticing a young person to leave their guardianship:

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