Reported rapes for the year total fifteen, according to Police Commissioner

Atlee Rodney, Commissioner of Police of the Royal Police Force of Antigua and Barbuda (File photo)
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Antigua and Barbuda has had fifteen reported rapes for this year, according to the Police Commissioner, Atlee Rodney.

Speaking on Observer AM yesterday, he briefly stated that one instance of rape has an impact on the  individual, the family, and by extension the community.

Amid scrutiny of the response time to a recent report of rape, Rodney issued a comment on the situation,

“We do have limitations, in terms of our communication system. That is one of the things we highlighted because the better the communication, the better the response time,” he stated, referencing a meeting with the Cabinet, where it is was expressed that the police force is seeking to improve the level of communication among the different police units.

Rodney added that his focus at the time of the report was on the situation, rather than the response time to the reported incident.

“I was more focused on what happened, and what can be done. Obviously, we had to be working along with the victim [and] searching for some of the perpetrators in the area. So, my focus was more on the investigation, not so much as to the time,” he remarked.

 In responding to a report of rape, there are various agencies of the police force involved.

“There are different agencies that respond to a report like this. You have sometimes the tactical persons, they do the scouting in the area. You have the investigations, and you also have the supporting stations in the area,” Rodney explained

On May 15, around 4:00 pm, the alleged victim was walking in the area of the Epicurean Supermarket on Friars Hill Road when she was approached by a group of five men with guns. When they attempted to rob her, they soon discovered that she had no objects of value to them.

Two men of the group then proceeded to force themselves upon her. The woman’s daughter, who also took the route soon after, found her mother’s handbag at the side of the road and screamed for help. Nearby farmers heard, went to assist, and subsequently found the victim. The incident is still under investigation.

Meanwhile, despite the ongoing efforts to reduce crime through information provided to the general public, there are still instances of individuals committing the same crime repeatedly. This is withstanding the punishment given to the individual for committing the crime, said Commissioner Rodney.

“A number of persons, especially the repeat offenders, it’s like that becomes their trade,” he stated.

“They break into a place. They are arrested. They go to court. They go to prison for a little while. They come back out and they commit the exact crime again,” Rodney added.

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