The police high command will be taking a “more aggressive” approach to crime-fighting this year after an alarming homicide rate in 2017. The acting head of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID), Superintendent Jeffery Morgan, said that while they will be operating within the law, the force will be “more proactive” in ensuring the safety of the residents of the country.
Police recorded 20 homicides in 2017, a figure that became more alarming when compared to 2016 when there were eight homicides. From the 20 killings, the officer said that 12 were solved. However, Morgan said while 2017 was a “challenging year” for the force, the homicides must be “put into perspective.” The lawman explained that based on their investigations, many of these crimes fall into a trend of increased gang and drugrelated activities, with many repeat offenders linked to these crimes.
His comment bolstered similar sentiments shared by Attorney General, Steadroy “Cutie” Benjamin recently. Superintendent Morgan added that Antigua and Barbuda has been “stable” as it relates to crime in recent years, with larceny, break-ins, and break-in and larceny being the most frequently perpetrated crimes.
He said that the country is experiencing a similar trend to that experienced in 2007, where there were 19 homicides, “and from our investigations these were people who were involved in drugs.” “…We know where there are drugs there is going to be firearms, and where there are firearms there will be other criminal offences that are sometimes committed… for example money laundering and trafficking in persons,” he explained further.
(More in today’s Daily Observer)