Public Safety Minister’s silence on rising crime appears to indicate his satisfaction with the situation, Wehner says

Minister of Public Safety Steadroy “Cutie” Benjamin has been “deafeningly silent” on the upsurge in criminal activity across the country and, especially, the spate of woundings during the Labour Day celebrations at Fort James Beach, says George Wehner, mobilization officer of the United Progressive Party (UPP).

While the Police, too, have been relatively quiet on the spike, Police Commissioner Atlee Rodney has expressed satisfaction with the outcome of the holiday activities, claiming that “very few major incidents” were reported.

While that may have been the case, the incidents were serious enough to require hospital treatment for several young men, with one requiring surgery and blood donations.

If the police commissioner is satisfied with the activities on Labour Day – in spite of the wounding incidents – Wehner says, then his boss, MP Benjamin, must also be pleased with the crime situation, or has no interest, since he has said nothing publicly.

Wehner admits that he and others were taken aback by Commissioner Rodney’s response.  It appears to him that the police high command wants to downplay the fact that crime has increased significantly these past months.

And it is not only acquisition crimes that have spiked, he notes, but rapes and woundings, especially involving the youth.

Meanwhile, Wehner is commending the Police for its high presence at Ffryes Beach and during the UPP-supported Antigua and Barbuda Workers’ Union march.  Reportedly, even Assistant Commissioner of Police Clifton Cabral –head of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) – was present at both events.

If the police presence at Fort James Beach was the same as at Ffryes, Wehner says, then officers appear not to have done much to stem the violence that took place at the latter location.