Categorized | National News

Simpson Penn Escapees Still On The Loose

Police continue to search for the remaining six boys who absconded from the Simpson Penn Centre for Boys more than a week ago, according to Acting Superintendent at the centre Darrol Hall.

Mr. Hall said the matter is now in the hands of the Elizabeth Estates Police Station and he assured that active investigations into their whereabouts are ongoing.

Last week, Social Services Minister Melanie Griffin revealed in the House of Assembly that seven boys absconded from the Simpson Penn Centre on August 12. Since then, one of the boys has been taken into custody while the others remain at large.

At the time, Mrs. Griffin vowed that immediate steps would be taken to prevent further security breaches at both Simpson Penn and the Willie Mae Pratt Centre for Girls.

“These include the repair and replacement of light fixtures in the dormitories, which I am assured are tamper resistant, the replacement of water closets in the bathrooms of the cottages and the clearing of overgrown bush,” the minister said. “More work remains to be done and this is being addressed by my ministry in consultation with the Ministry of Works and Urban Development.”

“While the physical condition of the Willie Mae Pratt Centre is not as critical as that of the Simpson Penn Centre, there are some matters that need to be addressed and these have been prioritised for action, however, work is being completed on the clearing of the overgrown property at the back of the centre.”

Mr. Hall said that work had already begun at the male juvenile centre to improve both security and living conditions at the centre.

“Strong measures are being taken and the minister has taken a hands-on approach as we deal with some of the security challenges at the Simpson Penn Centre,” Mr. Hall said. “We are now ensuring that we have the proper fencing in…we are correcting any problems with the fencing that we have and we are looking at improving the cottages where the boys reside.

“It’s an ongoing process and we are fully aware of what the challenges facing us at the centre are, but we are working to correct all these deficiencies.”

The Simpson Penn Centre currently houses more than 40 male juveniles between the ages of 12-years-old to 17-years-old.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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