Better security planned at national facility for the differently abled

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Security at the National Vocational and Rehabilitation Centre for Person with Disabilities (NVRCD) will be adjusted following an act of vandalism at the Factory Road property a little more than a week ago.

Director and Patience Officer of the Centre Regan Calliste said talks are currently underway with Ministry of Health officials. The NVRCD offers training and other opportunities for persons with special needs or those living with a disability.

“We have security but only for a specified time from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. So right now we are looking to make it more efficient,” the director said.

When staff and trainees at the centre reported for regular duties last Monday they discovered that the building was broken into and vandalized.

The perpetrator(s) gained entry to the administrative building by reportedly breaking a section of the door. The director stated that while nothing was actually stolen, they spent quite a long period cleaning up a supervisor’s office which was ransacked. The cleanup was done after the police completed their inspection for investigation purposes.

“All the documents were thrown out of the desks and cabinets,” Calliste said. “Everything was thrown on the floor, even some items we were storing ended up in the staff bathroom. The secretary’s office, they went into it, they did not take anything, they just opened up the cabinet and removed her chair. They just messed up everything and we had to clean up after the police left.”

The director also explained that news of the vandalism was only reported to a few superiors so as not to scare off the vulnerable people who access services at the centre.

The National Vocational and Rehabilitation Centre for Persons with Disabilities is a division within the Ministry of Health & the Environment. It was established in 1984 and has been an advocate for persons living with disabilities in Antigua and Barbuda.

Law enforcement personnel were called in and the usual checks along with fingerprint dusting done. But so far no suspects have been identified. Investigations are ongoing.

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