Cops take aim at female scammers
The Area One Joint Task Force on Lottery Scamming is calling for targeted interventions focusing on females who are getting themselves involved in the illicit and often deadly lottery scam that continues to plague western Jamaica.
Communication Liaison Officer for the task force, Sergeant Kevin Watson, told Western STAR that females frequently play the supporting role to their male partners who are involved in the unlawful scheme by collecting money, managing the finances, or coordinating the 'runners'.
He, however, believes that a severe dent can be dealt to many of the operations of these scammers by going after the females, either through the powers of arrest or social-intervention programmes.
"Women are just as involved in lottery scamming as the men, but they play different roles, and many of them, particularly the young girls, get involved because the scammers can afford to take care of them," Watson said.
"I am all for social-intervention programmes that would reach these young girls in the homes, community, schools, and so on. If we could get through to them, then a lot of these illegal operations would have difficulty collecting money," Watson added.
According to him, women and girls have always played silent, yet integral roles, in criminality such as stashing blood money or illegal weapons. He said that those females who are part of lottery scamming are not different and are sometimes even more aggressive than their male counterparts when apprehended.
"Regarding intervention, I believe one way in which the police can assist is to have female officers who have overcome the odds to be more visible and speak to these women. You have female officers who have faced the same kind of problems as these young ladies are now experiencing, so you can use these officers to inspire them," Watson said.