By Abigayle McIntosh
The issue of safety and security is now occupying the minds of law enforcement officials as the nation prepares for the official start of the revelry and merry-making of the annual carnival festivities.
In a state media interview this week Police Commissioner Atley Rodney outlined that specifically for Carnival, they are putting things in place and the operation plan will be communicated to every member of the Royal Police Force of Antigua and Barbuda so everyone will know what is their role and responsibility.
“We will be doing some more stop and search with more checks, we will have what we refer to as our Intelligence Officers who are able to pay attention to what is happening with some of those persons who are likely to cause disruption,”
“There are some proactive things that we are doing; we have seen the results in terms of the number of warrants that we have been executing, stop and searches. So far, we have seen results and we are going to continue with that momentum”.
The top cop also stresses that while the police are duty-bound to maintain law and order, they are unable to do it alone.
He explained that promoters, fete organizers, and patrons will be expected to do their part as well.
“They have a responsibility to assist us to keep the environment safe”.
He also alluded to the shortage of trained officers expressing hope that more can be recruited to bolster the current complement.
Meanwhile, the senior officer also shared that acquisition crime continues to top the list of offenses in the country.
He said while some categories have been reduced, the numbers are still concerning.
“This is where we are still having some reports in terms of break-ins and larceny and there was a portion of the year when we had a few robberies very regularly that has been reduced in some way.
“We are not seeing that type of reduction in acquisition crime”, he said.
The police have however recorded successes in the seizure of contraband and dozens of weapons.