Lawmen in Antigua and Barbuda told the Cabinet that they suspect, harden criminals have been using younger men to commit crimes around the city of St Johns.
On Wednesday, Cabinet summoned security personnel to discuss ways that the country could deal with the spate of violence that has been bombarding the island recently
Although this is not the first time that top law enforcement officers were called to discuss the issue, the recent brazen daylight attempted robbery and rape of a woman this week caught the attention of the decision-making body
Twelve officers, including heads of the security services and support staff, were at the meeting.
Police Commissioner Altee Rodney who headed the 12-member team delegation told the Cabinet sixty-five percent of all reported crimes occur in the City of St. John’s; thirty-five reported robberies occurred for the year thus far, and nine illegal guns have been taken from the streets in 2023, to date.
He said that there have not been many incidents of youth violence since the execution of a plan put forward by the uniformed bodies but the police have concluded that older criminals are using young men to commit crimes.
The installation of CCTV cameras in and around St Johns has been proposed by the team to capture images of the criminals
The police also proposed a VHF radio system to reduce the response time after a crime has taken place. But that vital equipment is costing USD350,000.
Meanwhile, Rodney told Cabinet that there need to be at least 2000 police recruits to meet the strength that is required to adequately address the crime situation in Antigua and Barbuda
As it stands now, there are just a little more than 600 active-duty officers and about 200 fire police
Chief of Defense Staff of the Antigua and Barbuda Defense Force (ABDF) Colonel Telbert Benjamin was also part of the delegation
He informed Cabinet that 120 soldiers are required to fulfill the task ahead, in addition to VHF radios, military assets, and training are also required.
The Cabinet is moving to allocate all resources to tackle the crime situation in the country.