Categorized | Local, News

Premier speaks out on sexual assault reports, calls on the public for cooperation

by Tomeika Jeffrey

Premier Reuben Meade

The Honourable Premier, Mr. Rueben T Meade attempted to defuse heavy criticism from the public against the subsequent actions of the Honourable Minister, Mr. Collin Riley in the report of an alleged minor on minor sexual assault, during a radio presentation on Wednesday, August 29.

The Premier said, “Speaking with Mr. Riley and another individual, along with the community services workers, I understood why the decision was made in the manner in which it was made….I think on the order of the Magistrate that it was recommended that Mr. Riley took the child overseas with the cricket team, and my intervention on that was, yes the children can remain overseas with the cricket team, but he must not represent Montserrat on that cricket team.”

He added, “Mr. Riley should not be seen as somebody who did something wrong, he was simply protecting a child at the request of the legal system and he is making the child available to the authorities. He will continue to work on the matter to the benefit of the children of this country, and I think he’s doing a wonderful job.”

Premier Meade highlighted the Government’s commitment to resolving the matter. “I actually met with the family privately, of the little girl, along with the godparents who are Montserratians to get their views and opinions on what was happening…and to provide them with some indication that Government really cares…we care about them and the child and that the matter will be dealt with fully,” said Premier Meade.

Mr. Meade added, “The Government has a program dealing with children…we have a professional from the United Kingdom, a Montserratian, who has returned and is working in the Department of Child Services. She is leading on this particular issue and I’m very pleased that we have the competence within the Community Services Department to deal with this matter professionally.”

During his presentation the Premier also touched on the issue of, what he calls ‘a wall of silence’ and lack of cooperation in reporting incidence of sexual assault in the community. He then called on the public to speak out against sexual abuse, “…We are simply trying to sensitise people to the fact that these things do happen within our society, but there seems to be a wall of silence on a lot of these issues, because people are afraid to talk out. People are afraid to act, and people are afraid to get the authorities involved…we can’t short change our children and sell them out,” he said.

In mid-August there were allegations of sexual assault incidents among minors, one which ‘unfortunately’ hit the internet. Later, the police have also confirmed allegations of another sexual assault incident involving a five-year-old female and two males, ages 13 and 14.

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

by Tomeika Jeffrey

Premier Reuben Meade

The Honourable Premier, Mr. Rueben T Meade attempted to defuse heavy criticism from the public against the subsequent actions of the Honourable Minister, Mr. Collin Riley in the report of an alleged minor on minor sexual assault, during a radio presentation on Wednesday, August 29.

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The Premier said, “Speaking with Mr. Riley and another individual, along with the community services workers, I understood why the decision was made in the manner in which it was made….I think on the order of the Magistrate that it was recommended that Mr. Riley took the child overseas with the cricket team, and my intervention on that was, yes the children can remain overseas with the cricket team, but he must not represent Montserrat on that cricket team.”

He added, “Mr. Riley should not be seen as somebody who did something wrong, he was simply protecting a child at the request of the legal system and he is making the child available to the authorities. He will continue to work on the matter to the benefit of the children of this country, and I think he’s doing a wonderful job.”

Premier Meade highlighted the Government’s commitment to resolving the matter. “I actually met with the family privately, of the little girl, along with the godparents who are Montserratians to get their views and opinions on what was happening…and to provide them with some indication that Government really cares…we care about them and the child and that the matter will be dealt with fully,” said Premier Meade.

Mr. Meade added, “The Government has a program dealing with children…we have a professional from the United Kingdom, a Montserratian, who has returned and is working in the Department of Child Services. She is leading on this particular issue and I’m very pleased that we have the competence within the Community Services Department to deal with this matter professionally.”

During his presentation the Premier also touched on the issue of, what he calls ‘a wall of silence’ and lack of cooperation in reporting incidence of sexual assault in the community. He then called on the public to speak out against sexual abuse, “…We are simply trying to sensitise people to the fact that these things do happen within our society, but there seems to be a wall of silence on a lot of these issues, because people are afraid to talk out. People are afraid to act, and people are afraid to get the authorities involved…we can’t short change our children and sell them out,” he said.

In mid-August there were allegations of sexual assault incidents among minors, one which ‘unfortunately’ hit the internet. Later, the police have also confirmed allegations of another sexual assault incident involving a five-year-old female and two males, ages 13 and 14.