Well-known activist Mary John is calling out the authorities yet another time for what she sees as inadequate social and police services, after a missing child was reported found this morning, June 30.
The Police issued a Missing Person Bulletin on Tuesday night, asking the public for help in locating an 11-year-old boy who resides at Buckleys. The child was last seen at his home on Monday morning, the bulletin said.
Sources say the boy lives with his grandmother out in the country, but was found, unharmed, in the Villa Area, reportedly at the home of an adult male who was a friend of his mother.
“Now that Brendan Farrell is located, I am hoping the authorities will finally begin to handle things professionally and throughly,” John tells REAL News.
Reports of missing children – particularly runaways – have become commonplace in recent years. Residents have openly said they have lost interest, because the youngsters always turn up and then there is no further word from the Police.
“In the past, there is no investigation with regards to who was harbouring the minors,” John charges. “And if the reason for child’s action is identified, there is no follow-up with regards to putting things in place to address the issues,” she says.
In such instances, John says, the social services agencies need to investigate the homes and the families from which the children are running. And, where necessary, she adds, the children should be removed to a safe place where they can receive psychological help for the problems they might be facing at home.
The two group homes now in use – which, incidentally, house only girls – are not enough, John says, since preventing the children from running again can be a challenge.
Further, speaking about those who lure children away for criminal activity, John says the law must become more focused and forceful.
“An example must be made of persons who harbour the minors; parents who are negligent and delinquent; the sex predators and drug dealers who are taking advantage of, and corrupting, our children; and the adults and minors who are recruiting minors for the business of prostitution,” John says.
Scores of other residents support John’s position, with one church worker saying that “nobody in authority really cares about these children. If they cared, we would have seen action a long time ago.”
John has the distinction of having found a number of missing girls whom the Police had announced publicly they could not locate.