The Police Commissioner, Atlee Rodney, has revealed that the police force has requested the government to pass legislation that permits the imposition of a “limited” state of emergency in certain areas if the situation demands it.
This measure is aimed at maintaining public safety and is already in place in several Caribbean countries such as Barbados, Belize, and Jamaica. The proposed legislation also includes provisions that would aid the police in their fight against crime.
“One of the things that we don’t have in Antigua and Barbuda is this ‘limited’ state of emergency measures so that if there is a problem in a particular area, you could impose that and deal with the situation in that specific area. We do not have that legislation here,” Rodney said The police are asking for permission to use non-lethal weapons like mace and taser guns and for the use of body-cams by officers, with the footage being admissible in court.
“These are some of the changes that we are asking for in our legislation that is up for review by the parliament. That would assist us in dealing with a problem in a particular area.
The use of non-lethal weapons is the way to go, as there are a number of situations that you can de-escalate with non-lethal weapons, so we want the legislation to assist us with that,” he stated.
The Commissioner is optimistic that the parliament will review the legislation soon and make the necessary changes.