MP Lewis says greater police presence is needed in the communities; but, first, residents’ confidence must be restored

Richard Lewis, MP for St. John’s Rural West, says he wants to see a greater police presence in the various communities to bring a level of safety and comfort to the residents.

Lewis was addressing the recent upsurge in criminal activity, which has resulted in a murder, rapes, scores of robberies, break-ins and larcenies, and wounding incidents.

He says that a visible police presence, as in years gone by, could be a deterrent to criminals.  However, he acknowledges that this will require some effort, since many people now do not trust the police; and, so, achieving that level of confidence will need work.

MP Lewis says that getting the Defence Force more involved in crime-fighting initiative is going to be vital.

He says it was shocking to learn the ages of those allegedly involved in these serious offences – with reports that a 13-year-old is among the five youth held by police in connection with the recent rape of a 46-year-old woman.

Lewis says the society must get to the root of what is causing young people to behave in such a violent manner and then seek to resolve it.

Meanwhile, the Rural West MP is advising the agencies responsible for clearing overgrown bushes to begin an island-wide initiative to remove such hiding places for criminals.

It was only on Tuesday night, May 23, that two masked men were spotted hiding in some bushes in an area of Cassada Gardens.  When they were confronted by the police, a shootout ensued; and one of the criminals escaped while the other was taken into custody.

The latest reports from the Police say the escapee has since been apprehended.

Given the rising fear about the spike in crime, Lewis says the Browne Administration must do everything legally and humanly possible to tackle the situation.