Unless police capacity to apprehend criminals is strengthened, stiffer penalties for offenders will not work Tabor says

The United Progressive Party (UPP) is not optimistic about the
Government’s plan to increase the penalties for persons caught with
unlicensed firearms, fearing it will not be enough to arrest the
proliferation of illegal weapons.

According to UPP Public Relations Officer Damani Tabor, experts
worldwide have suggested that imposing harsher sentences – which
was proposed by the Cabinet at its September 6 meeting – has very
little impact on curbing gun crime.
If there is no effective policing to apprehend criminals, Tabor
declares, then crime will not be suppressed.

He notes that criminals are not going to rationalize that, since the
penalties have increased, they should stop committing crimes or
discard illegal firearms.

The UPP spokesman says the real issue is the lack of Government
support for the Police Force attempts to optimize and improve its
For instance, Attorney-General Steadroy “Cutie” Benjamin – the
minister responsible for national security – had announced the
construction of a national forensic lab. This is intended to eliminate
the need for items to be sent abroad for testing and analysis, thus
reducing costs and speeding up investigations into serious cases.
However, this is yet to materialize.

Accordingly, Tabor asks what is causing the hold-up on the lab, and
is making further inquiries about a comprehensive plan to tackle
This week’s Cabinet Notes acknowledge that businesspeople are
unlawfully acquiring firearms to protect themselves after their
application for a licence is denied.

Tabor is asking why these applications are being rejected. He says it
would be more logical for the Police to ensure that businesspeople
are protected, given that the criminals attacking them are heavily
According to the UPP official, the business owners are outmatched
by the bandits, who come to steal, kill, and destroy like the devil.

In the meantime, Tabor says that Minister Benjamin remains
“missing in action” and focused on the wrong issues, instead of
ensuring that residents are safe from those who threaten the peace.
Meanwhile, Tabor says there is a gap that needs to be closed. He is
referring to the police’s ability to intercept drugs at the respective
ports of entry while there is never a report about a cache of firearms
being seized.

Meanwhile, the Cabinet has promised there will be further
consultations between the Attorney-General’s Office and the Police
Force to determine to what degree the punishment for unlicensed
firearms should be strengthened.