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KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent – The government has set up a unit within the Police Force to handle cases related to domestic violence and child abuse.

Prime Minister and Minister of National Security Dr. Ralph Gonsalves told Parliament last week that the unit is located at the Questelles Police Station in South Leeward.

The task force was set up in keeping with the Prevention of Trafficking in Persons Act, passed in Parliament last year, Gonsalves said in response to a question asked on behalf of Sen. Anesia Baptise, who was absent.

The outfit, which has two members, initially, will be launched next month when the International Office of Migration conducts the second in a series of training sessions.

A total of 25 persons will be trained in the form of a trainer-of-trainers programme from April 11-13, with a third session slated to run from May to June.

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Trainees will come from the Police Force, the Labour and Immigration Departments, the Director of Public Prosecution’s Office, the Ministries of National Mobilisation, National Security, and Foreign Affairs, VINSAVE, the National Workers Movement, the National Commission on Crime Prevention, the Coast Guard, and the Chief of Port Police.

Following the initial training at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in January, a report, containing recommendations, was submitted to the Ministry of National Security.

The new unit was expected to submit its first quarterly report by March 31, in keeping with the Act, Gonsalves said, adding that once the unit is fully established, the various functions, as outlined in the Act, will be operationalize.

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