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The police commissioner in Antigua and Barbuda, Atlee Rodney. (Photo via CMC)

Antigua: 8 per cent increase in crime

January 14, 2024

ST JOHNS, Antigua, CMC – Commissioner of Police Atlee Rodney has said that there was an eight per cent increase in reported crimes in 2023.

Speaking at a post-Cabinet press conference late last week, Rodney said 3,425 crimes were reported in 2023, up from 3,166 in 2022.

He said 2023 was a highly active year for officers, due in part to the general election, the by-election which prompted the police to conduct an increased number of patrols, stop and search operations, and executed more search warrants last year.

“There was a slight increase in the number of criminal reports that we had to respond to, compared to 2022; what we also noticed was that we had a large number of cases solved this year—some from previous years,” he said, although he could not provide statistics on the latter when asked.

Commissioner Rodney said firearm seizures increased by 95 percent in 2023, with a record haul of 70 compared with 36 in 2022. Sixty-six of the weapons seized last year were said to be lethal.

“So, the increase in the patrols, execution of search warrants, stop and search, and information coming from the public, it greatly assisted us in removing a number of firearms from the public streets,” Commissioner Rodney.

Petty crimes such as larceny, malicious damage and robbery occupied most of the officers time in 2023 Rodney said, adding that a major concern was the number of people under the age of 18 arrested and were victims of crime, last year.

According to the Police Chief, 246 people between the age of 14 and 25 were arrested last year while 139 crime victims were between the ages of 10 and 25.

“We are very much concerned with what is happening when it comes to young persons and we are committed to work with stakeholders to address the problems,” Rodney said.

Of the 850 persons arrested and charged last for various offences, 376 were repeat offenders

“It shows that there is a grouping of persons that they would be arrested, taken before the court, convicted, serve their time or pay their fine and go right back and commit crimes similar for what they were convicted for,” Rodney said.

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