Naysayers tell you that law enforcement agencies in so-called Third World countries such as Antigua & Barbuda are not as good at solving crimes as those in more developed countries.
And their case is won, seemingly, by the submission of cold, hard facts showing that the British Metropolitan Police, also known as Scotland Yard, was responsible for cracking several cases that stumped local policemen.
The country’s self-imposed reliance on Scotland Yard, post-independence, began in 1993 with the murder of former Comptroller of Customs Rolston “Dolly House” Samuel.
And the recent disappearance of 26-year-old Vincia James, who is presumed dead, has ignited the clamour for “outside” assistance” in solving that and other cases.
Assistant Commission-er of Police (ACP) Atlee Rodney said Wednesday that the country has made no formal request to the British government, but the Royal Police Force of Antigua & Barbuda (RPFAB) is “talking” to Scotland Yard and other law enforcement agencies about the James matter.
The former prime minister, Baldwin Spencer who solicited the help of the Bobbies for the 2008 high-profile double-murder of British honeymooning couple Benjamin and Catherine Mullany, believes the agency should be brought back to Antigua.
“Some of the cases might not be considered high-profile in the normal sense of that term but you are talking about human beings who have been affected and whose families need closure,” he said.
He reminisced that on the advice of the Commissioner of Police, the government decided it would be in the best interest, of not only justice but the country’s international relations, to bring in Scotland Yard agents who eventually solved the Mullany homicides.
Forensic evidence played a key role. It also linked the Mullany’s killers to three other murders in 2008 that formed part of what the local RPFAB described as a “spree”.
Fifteen years earlier, an SOS was sent out to the Scotland Yard, following the brutal slaying of the American couple, William and Kathleen Clever, as well as Brits Ian Cridland and Thomas Williams onboard a luxury yacht off Barbuda in January 1994.
There were convictions in all of the cases solved by the British law enforcement agency.
(More in today’s Daily Observer)