Antigua: Business owners want guns, CCTV

Business owners in the Hispanic community are expressing frustration over the recent spate of robberies which they say have disrupted their lives and business operations.

The group has launched a petition making two requests of Attorney General Steadroy “Cutie” Benjamin and Commissioner of Police Wendel Robinson.

President of the Antigua & Barbuda Hispanic Association Adolfo Pena said the business owners are requesting that closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras be installed in close proximity to their establishments and that firearms licences be granted to those who qualify.

“It is too much. Sometimes, you have at least five armed robberies in one week, especially in the Desouza Road, Grays Farm, Tindale Road areas. They have hit us very hard. As the chairman of the association, I am leading this charge to see what can be done,” Pena said.

The appeal, launched on Monday, will be circulated to the over 200 Hispanic businesses in Antigua for signatures.

Immediately after, it will be submitted to the commissioner of police.

To date, 48 people have signed the document.

With recent weeks, over 12 popular Hispanic bars, restaurants and barber shops across the island have been hit by bandits.

Earlier this week, the owners of three bars on Desouza Road, which were robbed weeks apart, spoke out about the incidents and criticised the police for under-reporting crime in Antigua & Barbuda.