Police and Defence Force brass meet with Cabinet to discuss rising crime and use of illegal firearms

Several members of the police brass, including Commissioner Atlee
Rodney and six of his senior officers, met with the Executive on
Wednesday, September 6, to discuss how the use of illegal firearms
can be further curbed. 

Reports say that Chief of Defence Staff Colonel Telbert Benjamin was
also part of the discussion, as the Cabinet seeks ways to bring the
rising crime trend to a stop.

The participants are said to have explored a number of options,
including stiffer sentences being imposed on persons found with
unlicensed firearms, whatever may be their purpose.

The Cabinet says it has received information that several business
people may have unlawfully acquired firearms to protect
themselves after their applications for a license were denied.

Additionally, the Executive is claiming that criminals have both
acquired or rented firearms to carry out robberies and other
criminal acts that involve their use, or threat of force.

There are to be further consultations between the Office of the
Attorney General and the Police Force to determine the extent to
which punishment for possession of unlicensed firearms should be

Meanwhile, the Police reported to the Cabinet on its apparent
success, to date,in ridding the streets of illegal firearms.

They say that 35 illicit firearms were seized during stop-and-search
operations carried out by joint police and military personnel.

Deputy Commissioner of Police Everton Jeffers has also confirmed
that two ghost guns – which are virtually untraceable — have been
found in Antigua.