On Saturday, August 10, at around eight o’clock in the night, eleven girls, ages fourteen to sixteen, escaped from the Princess Royal Youth Hostel on the George Price Highway. The girls breached the hostel’s fence and left the area. Of the eleven, five of them were found yesterday. Deputy Director of the Community Rehabilitation Department, Maureen Williams, told us they are working with the police to find the other girls.
Maureen Williams – Community Rehab Department: “Eleven girls ran from the Hostel on Saturday night. Working with the police five of them have returned. We are still doing our internal investigations in terms of what happened. We have been looking at the camera footage and so we are continuing to do what we have to. We have countless social workers who are talking to the girls mainly the ones who remained on the compound and based on the ones who returned that is being done today. Yesterday they were still not settled so we couldn’t do anything with them. Today they are in a better place and so the social workers and the councilors are having the discussion in terms of trying to figure out what happened? What brought on the behavior? And then for us to decide what next. Understanding the behavior is not necessarily unusual because they are in an institution. They are there because of behavioral issues, they don’t want to be there but it is that there are there and so sometimes with these children, little things will trigger them and then they start to act out. It just takes one or two of them to start and then the others feed off that and get involved and so that is what preliminarily we know that a couple of the girls were having some issues and then the others just followed them.”
Courtney Menzies: ”How were the five girls located?”
Maureen Williams – Community Rehab Department: “One of them the police found, she was wandering on the highway and the other four a family member called to say where they were and so we passed on that information and then they were able to pick them up. Right now the children will be confined to their dorms and then they will be on contract and they have to work themselves out of confinement so we are looking at what it is the contract needs to look like because different people have different trails and different trails has different meaning and so contracts have to be tailored to meet the needs of each one of those children.”
According to Williams, the hostel works with the police by filling out a form and providing the police with the particulars of the missing girls. While the five girls have returned to the hostel, Love News understands that they are not cooperating with the authorities in locating the missing six. Residents at the hostel are known to create a scene at the facility either by escaping, destroying property or in the case of November 2017, a fire was started that claimed the lives of several of the girls. A report from the Ministry of Human Services is still pending into that incident./////////