The government says it will invest in “advanced weaponry” to ensure that residents and visitors live in relative safety.
The commitment was given in the 2018 budget as Prime Minister Gaston Browne announced ways to fight crime which spiked last year.
“The Government will invest in police stations, additional equipment, and advanced weaponry for the Force to deliver the level of service that the population deserves,” he said.
Browne said security and safety are integral to the quality of life of a people.
He said law-abiding citizens and residents must be able to live and raise their families in safe communities, walk on the streets freely, trust that their children can traverse the school day and not encounter any harm, conduct business securely, and celebrate life in public and private spaces without apprehension.
“We believe, that one way to send a clear signal that our position on crime is absolutely zero tolerance, is to increase the number of trained and armed law enforcement officers who will pursue those who are committed to a life of crime,” Browne told a sitting of the Lower House.
In terms of promoting justice the prime minister said: “both for the accused and the victim, we will improve the equity and effectiveness of our judicial and custodial systems.”
“To this end, we will accelerate plans to establish a new forensics laboratory in Antigua and Barbuda, so that critical forensic examinations can be conducted locally,” he added.
The Government will also place emphasis on identifying and confronting social conditions that fuel crime.
“Where we can intervene before a young man or young woman chooses the path of criminality, we will do so,” Browne said.
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