Home The Big Stories Latest crime stats reveal surge in gun-related offences

Latest crime stats reveal surge in gun-related offences

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Although there has been a reduction in some violent crimes including murder in recent years in Antigua and Barbuda, there has been a surge in gun-related offences.

Acting Head of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) ASP Lisburn Michael revealed the troubling statistics on Wednesday morning during an Observer AM interview while providing the force’s quarterly review.

Overall crime for this year also appears to be on the rise, with a total of 1,518 crimes reported in the first six months.

In 2019, 1,753 crimes were reported. In 2020, that figure dropped to 1,351, but slightly increased in 2021 with 1,458 reported crimes.

The top cop said the last three years have seen a total of 34 homicides – 14 of them linked to illegal firearms.

“In 2019, we had four homicides and, in those homicides, firearms were used in three of those. In 2020, 10 homicides and firearms were used in three. In 2021, 16 homicides and firearms were used in five, while in 2022 there have been four homicides thus far and firearms were used in three,” he explained.

“In 2019, a total of 26 firearms, 197 rounds of ammunition were taken off the street. In 2020, 30 firearms, 925 rounds of ammunition. In 2021, 22 firearms and a total of 760 rounds of ammunition, and in 2022 10 firearms and 232 rounds of ammunition,” Michael detailed.

Concern over gun use is a long-lasting issue in the country.

Last year, Commissioner of Police Atlee Rodney told Observer that young people between the ages of 14 to 23 were the main perpetrators prompting lawmen to spearhead several activities to remove illegal guns from the streets, one of which was a gun amnesty.

Meanwhile, there has been a recent rise in larceny and break-ins with 1,095 reported matters for this year so far – an increase of 31 from last year’s figure for the same period.

Communities in the A Division, according to Michael, are the most vulnerable areas. They include Gray’s Farm, Villa, Yorks and St Johnston’s Village.

There were however reported increases in recent months in the B Division which includes the Parham area.

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