The Police Administration within the Royal Police force of Antigua and Barbuda has taken umbrage to a newspaper article written in the Trinidad Express Newspaper, dated Wednesday 21st October, 2015, where certain misinformation was expressed concerning crime in Antigua and Barbuda.
The article, under the caption, “Who are the Killers” stated, among other things that “There has also been a rising tide of crime against visitors on the tourist dependent islands of Barbados, St. Lucia, Dominica and Antigua”. Not only does the police administration view this article to be poor in taste, but it is also considered to be misguided, misleading and is standing on the precipice of maliciousness. In fact, statistics have shown that Antigua and Barbuda to date, have only recorded 5 murders; compared to those countries to which we are categorized.
Statistics have also shown that there has been a significant reduction in gun related offences and criminal activities in general for 2015, in comparison to previous years. Approximately 30 firearms and in excess of 2000 rounds of ammunition have been removed from off the streets to date; a vast contrast to previous periods. These, among other attributing factors can be directly linked to the reduction in crime.
The Police was hastened to admit however, that although there have been anomalous reports of offences committed against visitors vacationing on the islands; there are no indications to substantiate such a statement. The police also disclose that out of the 5 Homicides that were committed, none of them involved tourists.
However, the Police are indeed mindful that any crime perpetrated against a visitor, can have a negative and devastating impact on our fragile industry. Hence the stringent security measures that have been implemented and the noticeable presence of police officers patrolling our beaches, communities and other places that our visitors frequent.
The Police are therefore expecting that in the spirit of professional journalistic practices, the Trinidad Express Newspaper would do the obvious and rightful thing to retract their statement.