Antigua: Government declares war on crime

Antigua Observer:-“It won’t be business as usual,” Public Safety Minister Steadroy “Cutie” Benjamin warned during a press conference yesterday as he rolled out a raft of hard-hitting measures aimed at reducing crime in Antigua and Barbuda.

Acknowledging that there has been a spike in gun related crimes this year, the public safety minister said the anti-crime measures would include stop and searches, which will be increased in criminal hotspots.

He also pointed to stronger legislation, more resources to the law enforcement agencies, enhancing cooperation between the police force, the army, the Organization of Drug and Money Laundering Control Policy (ONDCP), the Customs and Immigration Departments.

Minister Benjamin also said that X-ray machine facilities and K9 units will be installed at the various Ports of Entry to tackle the importation of illegal firearms. “Let me make this clear to all and sundry in this nation, the government has a zero tolerance to crime.

Who does the crime, will pay and serve the time,” Minister Benjamin declared. “Antigua has sun, sand and sea and safety and security.

We shall make sure that those two last words are enforced in the state of Antigua and Barbuda.” The public safety minister added that based on the records he has received, twelve suspected murders were committed in Antigua and Barbuda between the period February 12 and August 18, this year.

He said six of those crimes have been solved, including the shooting death of Almack “Jahute” Lambert of Nut Grove in February; Glenmore “Natty” Hughes that same month; the stabbing death of Gavin Edwards in June; Jalon Thompson who died in July after he was allegedly stabbed with a knife; missing woman Vincia James; and the recent killing of 20-year-old Xavier Thomas of Cedar Grove.

The public safety minister said it appears that some of the recent incidents are targeted to specific groups and people attempting to protect their turf or are expressions of retaliation and revenge.

5 Comments

  1. Bambi
    August 25, 2017 at 10:13 am

    Very good measures. I would like it to be a Caribbean approach which would make it more effective. St. Lucia should implement the same things immediately. K9 dogs most welcome.

  2. Anonymous
    August 25, 2017 at 10:48 am

    Wow, we have 32 murders and no plan of action from the security minister just work service.

  3. curious
    August 25, 2017 at 11:19 am

    Here is talk and more talk. Where is our anti crime plan and strategy? We are not seeing implementation of any thing of substance. Where are the resources he police so badly need? When will the lab be functional? When last have we seen or heard from the commissioner of police? When have we ever heard from the ACP Crime? Or do we even know who that person is?

    Whilst Antigua is awake we sleeping.

  4. Anonymous
    August 25, 2017 at 4:00 pm

    Wake up! St.Lucia, wake up!

  5. Anonymous
    August 26, 2017 at 2:55 am

    The police force is like a ship without a captain. This organization is at its most dysfunctional state with a set of clueless persons at the helm. The last I enquired they had no strategic plan and no anti crime strategy. They also have a clueless minister. So fellow countrymen, what do you expect! So the criminals will definitely fill the void which the police has left.

    This is what happens when politicians insist on promoting based on political affiliation and not one’s competence. It aches to listen to our police hierarchy speak. Some can hardly string two words together. What a shame! One in particular should surely familiarize herself with the word bombastic. Is that all this organization can produce? Are there not capable men and women amongst their ranks. Is the any successful manager amongst them who can make a difference? Don’t tell me that no one in this organization is capable of doing a better job than those commissioners currently at the top. Wake up officers. Wake up Minister for we are at your mercy!

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