Government to consider sex offenders registry and increase in the age of consent says Blackmoore

Minister Blackmoore (l), DPP Dalrymple

Minister of National Security and Home Affairs, Rayburn Blackmoore, says that the Government of Dominica is open to the idea of introducing a sex offenders registry and reviewing the age of consent on island, with a view to increasing it.

His comments came at a press conference this week, which sought to educate the public on Dominica’s sexual offences act of the 2017 Revised Laws of the Commonwealth of Dominica.

In light of the recent increase in child sexual abuse cases, many have called for the establishment of a sex offenders registry in Dominica which will see convicted offenders’ names publicly listed, along with other pertinent information such as their date of birth, nationality and address, with the aim of making the public aware that a sexual predator may be in their midst.

According to Blackmoore, the introduction of the registry was one of the recommendations made during the discussion and consultation held as part of the review of Dominica’s legislation.

“So of course, that’s something we still will consider going forward,” he said.

“As we go forward in terms of ensuring that the public knows of someone who is a potential threat, especially as it pertains to minors, it is something that we have to give consideration to, but also a balance has to be struck going forward,” the National Security Minister added. “You may have some people who have served the time, and who have been through some element of reform, having served their time and being out in the public domain.”

He pointed out that despite the absence of a sexual offenders registry,  he police have kept what is called a ‘rogues gallery’ with the pictures, photographs, and the type of offences various offenders have been convicted for.

Acting Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Sherma Dalrymple, also revealed that Dominica’s Sexual Offences Act does make provisions in section 38 for the names of the accused to be published where applications are made by the prosecution and also the complainant in the matter.

“Almost all the time, when the judge gives a sentence the full name of the accused is disclosed. So it’s out there in the public domain, who are the accused individuals. For the protection of the child, most times, we will not state the child’s name, but the names of the accused are released and can be published by the media,” she explained.

Currently, only Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, and Belize have sex offender registry laws in some form. However, the Antiguan and Barbuda government just last week referred their National Sex Offender Register Bill, 2022 to a select committee after an opposition legislator, Trevor Walker, raised several concerns including the possibility of infringing on the rights of the sex offender.

The bill, which was tabled in Parliament last Monday proposes that members of the public who wish to know if an individual has been convicted of a sex crime and is on the register must apply to the police commissioner to get that information.

Meantime, Blackmoore noted there are discussions that can be held to increase the current age of consent from 16 to 18 years old.

He said that he’s never been in support of the school of thought presented by some people to have the age of consent lowered to 14 years.

“Some of the merits used to actually bring forward a push towards that sentiment [increase in the age of consent] is that to vote you have to be 18,” he said. “So it is  something we can continue to talk and discuss as a country.”

The Minister added that Dominica’s legislation is “very comprehensive in scope” and if all citizens play their part, it would bring about the level of protection and security for minors and other vulnerable groups, which many are calling for.

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16 Comments

  1. JAH KAL
    July 22, 2022

    Blackmore who’s going to guard the guards , take off your mask and take a good look in the room before you take part in the discussion . Your government is in power take advantage of that , but i say but , because you all won’t be in power forever, then the guard will be picking up a number of offenders .

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0
  2. Jonathan Y St Jean
    July 22, 2022

    These suggested measures might help in curtailing the sexual offences against children in Dominca but this is something like the tail wagging the dog. How about measures to investigate, charge, prosecute and jail the offenders. Also how about beefing up the capacity of the relevant divisions and entities to enforce the existing laws the DPP bragged about. The initiative doesn’t sound like the minister and the DPP are serious about stamping out the crime of sexual assault against minors. Also those who have been affected need psychological help and the minister nor the DPP even addressed that. It’s easier to try to heal an abused young person than to try to heal a sick adult. Many perpetrators of sexual offences have themselves been abused in the past. They are not yet serious about stamping out the scourge with the piecemeal offer to talk about an offenders registry. Even if the age is raised young people will still be molested and will need the laws to be enforced.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0
  3. Ibo France
    July 22, 2022

    Recently, to my chagrin, I heard some misguided people showering praise on Black-moore for making some suggestions about the reduction of crime in the country.

    This is the same individual that presides over the police service that has brutalized and killed citizens, arrested and kidnapped innocent residents, that has done nothing about foreign mercenaries planting false evidence at Mr. Linton’s doorstep.

    How could anyone praise or put confidence in such a renegade? Under his stewardship crimes and unsolved murders have escalated to unprecedented heights.

    Dominicans have a memory which only lasts for as long as three days.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 3
  4. KalingoJustice
    July 22, 2022

    A rogue regime of vagabonds, perverts, rapists and child molesters is hesitant about imposing and passing laws to protect children!!!

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 3
  5. July 22, 2022

    Is it a case of “too little too late”? I hope not what difference does it make if we increase the age of consent to 100 years, these sexual VULTURES will still prey on the vulnerable women/men in our society; and what jackass concern is that about “infringing on the right of the sexual offenders”; what about the Victim’s rights which will forever be tarnished emotionally for the rest of their living lives. Bro give me a break; you and the Attorney General two former police officers get off your back-sides, and enact sensible legislation that will bring comfort and relief to those offended by those UNSCRUPULOUS persons in our society passing for human beings.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0
    • Lin clown
      July 25, 2022

      For the second time the DGS scholar and university graduate Mr.Jonathan Y St.Jean is making some sense.I wonder if he met Cecil Goodrich as headmaster.Supporting a disgraced man who was expelled from DGS

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 0 Thumb down 9
  6. Talk Show Host
    July 22, 2022

    Those male dogs in the government will not change anything because what is there now benefits them and those females aren’t women of character to push for a change. So is more talk that will go nowhere

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 25 Thumb down 1
    • Rick
      July 23, 2022

      Very well spoken, I couldn’t say it any better.

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 1
  7. Juanita
    July 22, 2022

    “As we go forward in terms of ensuring that the public knows of someone who is a potential threat, especially as it pertains to minors, it is something that we have to give consideration to, but also a balance has to be struck going forward,” the National Security Minister added. “You may have some people who have served the time, and who have been through some element of reform, having served their time and being out in the public domain.”
    Ladies and gentlemen, this is from the Honourable Minister of National Security and Home Affairs, one of the great orators or our Nation.

    Great oration aside, increasing the age of consent alone is not enough; law enforcement alone must be significantly increased.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 0
  8. dissident
    July 22, 2022

    De DPP doh take enough blows for all you? All you trying another round at it to see if you can get it right.?
    JUST DO THE RIGHT THING!!!! TAKE OUT DE STONE IN DE ROAD!!!!
    PROTECT THE CHILDREN!
    For a government 22 years in office eh.
    De names will call in court?…. some people are protected from the court depending on their political leaning….. how you going to fix dat and lose a vote in de process??
    Skerrit and dem so hungry for vote!!!!

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 1
    • July 22, 2022

      All political parties hungry for votes. You cannot protect children 16 and under yet you want to increase the age of consent.

  9. Ibo France
    July 22, 2022

    In order to effect fundamental changes in Dominica, and for them to be effective, the government has to have the trust and support of the vast majority of the residents.

    This government has governed for some twenty two conservative years. They have done everything to erode the TRYST of the citizens by constantly lying, making empty promises, persecuting innocent citizens, using the police service to intimidate, brutalize and teargas peaceful citizens and sometimes doing even worse.

    How are these same victims of the government’s high-handedness and unfair treatment are supposed to work along with their tormentors and oppressors?

    In any prosperous country, there must be peace and harmony and a willingness of the majority of citizens to work collectively for the overall development of the country. How can there be peace and harmony in Dominica when there are no equal rights and justice? Tell me!

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 2
  10. Bwa-Banday
    July 22, 2022

    While you guys are at it please consider revising the section of the law that makes it illegal to name suspects unless they are convicted. That’s utter rubbish! Most of these people, since they are considered to be the gwo-bougs of Dominica are bailed until trial hence they continue to roam our streets as perverted hunters.

    The law already gives them the presumption of innocence so naming them is no human rights violation. In certain US states suspects are named even when the investigation, pre-arrest is ongoing. This gives the public the opportunity to safeguard themselves and our children. It also encourages those who were violated but did not report to go to the police since the person is now being investigated.

    While at it, can Mr. Blackmore update the public on the case with the former government minister and the radio station owner? While it “may” have been settled behind closed doors the public has a right to know. STOP hiding them escamorteers for Christ sake…

    ADMIN: The law is also in place to protect the victim particularly in underage cases. In a small society it is not difficult to discover who the alleged victim is by associating that person with the alleged perpetrator.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 3
  11. Dr Clayton Shillingford
    July 22, 2022

    Why keep talking about these things?? Do what is necessary and rigvht as quickly as possible,, Raise age to 18 and stop discussing nonsense about age of consent at 14,, and yes makre public the names of all sex offenders esp; when that relates to children

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 2
  12. The Eyes have it
    July 22, 2022

    Woi… government of Dominica after 22 yrs in office is now open to the idea of a sex offenders registry? But that’s laughable wii Blackmore? Do you know who is the captain and key players of sex offenders in Dominica? Sir saying that sounds good but remember cabinet needs a majority vote to make anything law and I know the likes of Skerrit, Blackmore, Vince Henderson, Kent, Reggie, and top friends of the government like Emmanuel Nanthan and I almost forgot Melissa Skerrit will not vote for that and, therefore the rest of the purchased ministers must vote to support Skerrit .
    Sir, you remind me of this: Mark3: 23 And he called them unto him, and said unto them in parables, How can Satan cast out Satan?

    24 And if a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.

    25 And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand.

    26 And if Satan rise up against himself, and be divided, he cannot stand, but hath an end

    Is this the end of the evil kingdom Sir?

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 2

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