The Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force (RSVGPF) wishes to advise parents and guardians to be extra vigilant in monitoring and supervising their children’s activities; both at home and away from home during this unprecedented period of the COVID-19 pandemic which has caused the Ministry of Education to close all schools. This advice is being offered in light of the fact that there has been a marginal increase in reports of unlawful sexual intercourse (USI) according to the statistics from the Sexual Offences Unit (SOU) – the specialized unit in the RSVGPF mandated to investigate these types of crimes.

Parents and guardians are further advised to pay very close attention to their children’s activities on the internet and social media. While the internet was created for the good of humanity, there are those who are using it to perpetuate evil; especially among the unsuspecting and vulnerable in our society.

The COVID-19 protocols have led to an increase in online activity globally – and in SVG due to Social Distancing advisories issued by global health authorities including; our local Ministry of Health and the Environment. This has resulted in cybercriminals taking advantage of the rapid changes in online communication.

According to the Information Technology Unit (I.T Unit) within the RSVGPF, since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the unit has observed an increase in reports of cybercrimes such as cyber Violation of Privacy, Sexual Harassment by Electronic Communication, Libel by Electronic Communication, Cyber bullying and phishing attacks - where hackers try to gather personal information using deceptive emails and websites.

Let us all continue to play our role in keeping our children, elderly and the community in general, safe. We have to be “our brother’s keeper” now more than ever. Stay Safe! Be responsible! If you see something, say something!