RAPE, ROBBERIES SPIKE PEPPER SPRAY DEMAND …Company says product should be legalised

September 20, 2016
Pepper spray

... Company says product should be legalised

An online retail company, which sells pepper sprays, says that an increasing number of women are arming themselves with the product, and is therefore calling for the Government to legalise its use.

"The number of police officers we have are not sufficient to protect the public, and let's face it, Jamaica has a lot of crime," said a representative from the Corporate Area-based company.

"If persons can provide themselves with some form of protection that is considered non-lethal force, I honestly believe that the Government should actually mandate such things."

According to the retailer, a number of his clients escaped rape and robbery because they had pepper sprays.

"One lady, it saved her from being raped. It saved a couple other ladies from being robbed, and it was used recently to stop a home invader in his tracks," the retailer said.

Patricka Wiggan-Chambers, director of executive services at the Jamaica Customs Department, said that pepper sprays are illegal in Jamaica, and persons who wish to import the product would have to get a permit.

"For them to get a product like that into the island they would need a permit from the Ministry of Security. And if they brought the item without a permit, the item would be detained, and without a permit from the necessary authorities, the item will not be released to you," she said.

However, when THE STAR asked the retailer how he got the pepper sprays into the island, he refused to answer.

Meanwhile, Judith Wedderburn, gender activist and member of the 51% Coalition, insisted that pepper sprays should be regulated.

"Women trying to defend themselves must know about the products they are using. It must be regulated and the public must be told about the active ingredients, what they can do to you, and then an adult can make a choice and know what they are getting themselves into," Wedderburn said.

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