Crime-fighting solution proposed

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The United Progressive Party (UPP) will completely revamp the crime-fighting process in Antigua and Barbuda.
This is according to Senator Damani Tabor, spokesperson for the UPP.
He said, “We are proposing a ten-point strategic crime-fighting action plan… These are the ten pillars that we are proposing as part of our policy platform for discussion and refinement.”
According to the senator, “We will introduce a Community Crime-Fighting App (CCFA), that utilises cutting-edge technology to connect communities, watch groups and law enforcement.”
He also said, “We will institute community counsels to strengthen relationships between the community and police.”
Referencing changes to make police more approachable to the general public, he stated, “We shall change the name of the police force from police force to police service, to signal a new focus and direction and lessen contentious relationships with the population.”
As citizens complain about safety and the caliber of officers entering the force, Tabor said that the UPP administration will set up a “polygraph and psychosocial” evaluation process to help “screen new police applicants” to ensure that certain individuals that might not be of suitable character will be screened out from the onset.
He also mentioned that all police stations will be fully upgraded and will be opened and properly managed 24/7.
He further added that the use of CCTV cameras will be reintroduced in strategic locations to aid crime fighting and to even prevent crime.
The senator said, “We will aim for swifter justice with a maximum of 60 days between arrest, prosecution and punishment.”  
He also highlighted that more resources will be allocated to the criminal prosecution services and magistracy, where courts in Bolans and Parham will become operational in conjunction with the All Saints Magistrate’s court.
The senator stated that the UPP administration will draft a new policy to focus on the rehabilitation of prisoners, and to end the criminalisation of young people for minor offences.
Lastly, he said that a parole system will be established to allow for the reintegration of convicted persons with minor offences, back into the community.
Up to press time today, the police have confirmed that 20 murders took place in Antigua and Barbuda this year.
The year 2015 had five murders, and there were eight murders in 2016.
Tabor said that the numbers have “more than doubled” and that this is a major problem.

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