From a blog post I came across on Twitter - this is madness! http://kramtt.blogspot.com/2011/10/sex-crime-and-videotape.html
This morning, I woke up to my Facebook page littered with references to 2 posts about the popular show Crimewatch. I am fairly sure that all of you know about Crimewatch, so I won’t get into it here.
The first post was by a blogger known as Women Speak, and her eloquent piece can be found here. The second was a note on Facebook, by a young lady who was clearly deeply affected by what she saw on the programme. It drove her to this impassioned statement. This of course made very curious about what had taken place, so I turned to my source of info (twitter) and asked my followers if anyone had seen the relevant programme. Some of them did, and I gleaned the facts from them. These facts are presented below.
At some time, a young girl, whose age on the show is alleged to be 13 years, was sexually assaulted/raped by person/persons known or unknown. Someone recorded this act on a cell phone. This recording found its way into the hands of the intrepid Ian Alleyne. Mr Alleyne shows the video repeatedly and in fact shows the face of one of the perpetrators asking for the public’s help in identifying the person in the video. He also interviews the girl and the girl’s mother, both of whom have apparently consented to this video being shown on “national television”.
It is also important to note that Crimewatch airs at 6:00 p.m., that is to say, just before primetime news, and at a time where children are viewing television. Apparently as well, Mr Alleyne encouraged parents to have their children watch the programme.
Needless to say many people have reacted in a very negative manner to this story. I was shocked just hearing about it. A virtual twitter storm has erupted, with many people calling for TV6 to take some action in the matter. The author of the Women Speak blog has taken the issue to heart and is mounting a commendable twitter campaign to have something done about the matter.
The views expressed in the posts above put far more eloquently my feelings on the matter. I have not seen the video, nor do I intend to attempt to find it or watch it. I am truly disturbed that anyone would think it appropriate to show such a graphic video. What is the purpose of doing that? From where I sit, it does not seem to be anything more than shock value and a means of getting ratings.
Further, it seems to me that showing this video is in contravention of the Sexual Offences Act which prohibits the publication of likely to lead members of the public to identify a person who is the victim of a crime under the Act. I have been told by various persons that the girls face was clearly shown in the video and was not blurred or blocked in anyway whatsoever, so it would be easy for anyone who knew her to recognise her, and for those who did not know her to recognise her if they subsequently saw her in person. Also, I am told that the alleged perpetrator was a young looking boy, who may be a minor. That raises other issues as to whether his identity can be published.
I have mixed views as to Ian Alleyne and his show. No doubt he is doing some good, but I always get the impression that it is an exercise in self aggrandisement. Always having to point out How Great is IAN ALLEYNE, All Hail Ian Alleyne. It is that sort of attitude that makes one show a video of a girl being raped at 6:00 in the evening… or at anytime at all. It’s all about the ratings. He already has shown that he does not care about breaking the law himself, or crossing over lines of decency
And another thing, where did that video come from? It must have been filmed by someone at the scene of the event, who then sent it to Ian Alleyne, or the programme. Do we know who filmed it? Have they been reported to the Police? More seriously, with the viewing of this, are we going to see a phenomenon where persons are filming crime instead of stopping it, or worse yet, perpetrating crime in order to film it, to have their handiwork shown on Crimewatch?
So you may have seen the programme and have been disgusted by it, and want to take some action. What can you do?
1. Complain to TV6. The programming manager at TV6 is Ms Rhonda Ottley, and the General Manager is Ms Shida Bolai. The website lists a customer care email address at firstname.lastname@example.org
. The TV6 phone number is 868-627-8806, their fax number is 868-623-0785.
2. Complain to the Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (TATT). This is the authority charged with oversight of the television industry in Trinidad and Tobago. They have a specific form for dealing with complaints about the content of broadcasts, which can be found here. (site works best in Internet Explorer)
3. Complain to the advertisers. Find out who the advertisers of the show are and complain to them. Tell them that they should not be supporting a programme which would show such disgusting material on it. Threaten to boycott their product/services if they continue to sponsor the show.
4. Don’t let go. Too often in Trinidad and Tobago we tend to start off hot and sweaty and then we let them go. Don’t let this be a 9 day wonder.
This is a serious matter folks, and I hope we do something about it now.