(JAMAICA STAR) — A store operator in the Corporate Area, who sells pepper spray and tasers, said she has seen an increase in sales since the start of the year.
“Up to a year ago, there wasn’t really much of a demand. I would sell about one item for the week, sometimes all one item for the month. But since year, there seems to be more criminal acts against women, so they are protecting themselves. I now sell about 10 tasers and pepper sprays a week,” Kerry*, the store owner told THE STAR.
And although her customers are mainly women, Kerry said she’s seeing more men coming into her store recently to buy the products for their female relatives.
“It’s mainly females you’d see coming to buy them, but we also have brothers, aunts, parents coming in to buy it for their daughters; husbands buying it for their wives. Now that it’s summer, we have more mothers coming to buy it for their daughters,” she said.
The police have recorded 257 cases of rape and 17 cases of murder of children between January 1 and June 29. The lawmen have also recorded 183 cases of aggravated assault over the same period. Concerned about their safety, many persons, particularly women, have been arming themselves with pepper spray and tasers.
Kerry said she gets the products through her connections with persons who can carry these items.
“You have to have a licence to get them in. For my purpose, I would have a security personnel, that can actually get the items in,” she said.
And because of this, Kerry said she and her customers remain discreet about being in possession of the products.
“I mainly sell it based on referral; it’s not something that I would post up, and it’s just for security purposes. It’s not something that I really have as a mass product. And persons on a whole know that it can’t be a widespread sale of an item,” she said.