The authorities today took six children from their mother, who is on the verge of being evicted from the plot of land she occupies illegally near Linstead Fire Station in St. Catherine.
The mother, Natalie Hutchinson, said the police and child protection services paid the surprise visit at daybreak, taking her three under-age sons and three daughters. They also took one of her grand-daughters.
“Is outa mi bed dem tek mi children dem,” Hutchinson told The Beacon in tears, adding that she does not know where the minors are now being housed.
She lamented that even the youngest child – four years old – was taken from her.
“All mi baby who nuh know anything dem gone wid,” Hutchinson commented. “Some a dem bawl. Some gone without shirt, and dem nuh have on any slippers pon dem foot. Is outa dem bed dem a come from.”
The mother, unlike previously, appears to be mulling the idea of having someone adopt the children. “One lady seh she a come from foreign come tek di whole a dem,” she said.
Hutchinson further told The Beacon that one of the personnel who carried out the operation today informed her that she may get the children back whenever she finds a stable home.
In the meantime, Hutchinson’s adult son, Swayne Sullivan, said the children were taken to a place of safety because area residents have been making several complaints to police about their behaviour in the community.
“The police a get too much report about them seh dem run up and down and mek trouble with other people,” he surmised.
The family illegally occupies a property owned by the government’s National Road Operating and Constructing Company Limited (NROCC).
The minors and their mother initially lived at the location in two chicken coops.
A philanthropist from the United States, Rebecca Stewart, intervened and built a wooden house on the land, but without first getting the necessary approval.
NROCC subsequently gave the family eviction notice, citing the potential danger of having the house at the foot of a section of Highway 2000.
It also noted that the construction may undermine a bridge in the area.
On October 2, NROCC gave the family 30 days to vacate the property, but the occupants said they could not do so within the said time frame.
Now that the 30 days have elapsed, the adult members of the family are in a race against time to find a place to live. This morning’s operation, they think, is an indication that demolition of the house is on the verge of being done.
“One of the guy weh come this morning seh dem a come back wid police and soldier fi lick down di house,” Hutchinson said, while disclosing that she was on her way to examine a piece of land that she has been offered to relocate the house.
In addition to Hutchinson, two other adults, who have wooden houses on the land, have received notices to also pack up and leave.
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