The leader of the United Progressive Party Harold Lovell said the nation of Antigua and Barbuda needs to hear from the government about the escalating criminal activities in that Caribbean country.
There have been four murders in recent months, the latest a homicide in Pillar Rock where two Mexicans were found dead and another in Grays Farm where a married couple was also shot dead.
Lovell said the Minster of National Security Steadroy Cutie Benjamin needs to put systems in place to help curtail the problem.
“I would like to see the government make some effort and recognize that at the end of the day crime is not just a police problem but crime is a community problem and therefore mobilizing communities to fight crime,” Lovell said.
He is suggesting that the government divert resources and support neighborhood watch programs.
“You want to promote more neighborhood watch groups. I think the government has a legitimate interest in putting money into these groups to ensure that these serious ones get any assistance they need and that they are properly structured. This is a good investment,” he said.
Meantime Lovell said contends that the silence from the authorities gives the impression that nothing has happened.
“We don’t expect the government to get involved in the operational side of crime fighting. We need to know that they are making resources available, we need community involvement. We need the government to actively promote that type of involvement so that the police can get the type of assistance they want…”, he added.
Lovell is also changing the name of the Royal Antigua and Barbuda Police Force to the Antigua and Barbuda Police Service, to “at least, at the psychological level, it sends a signal that your job is to serve and protect,” Lovell added.
Meanwhile, Police say they are very concerned about recent murders in the country.
Police Public Relations Officer Inspector Frankie Thomas said the police continue to use every resource that they have available to probe these two separate incidents.
Thomas believes that with public help, some level of closure can be brought to the minds of family members who are seeking answers.