The Caribbean nation of Antigua and Barbuda has witnessed a sudden up surge in cases of homicide in recent months. This new trend is quite worrying for citizens and the authorities alike. The year began on a rather peaceful note with no cases of homicide registered during the first quarter.
The sudden uptake in crime has now forced the authorities to take notice. The Caribbean nation has seen 4 such cases in the last past 4 weeks, an extremely high rate considering the size of the country’s population. In total the country has seen 6 cases of homicide this year, up till this point. Considering the prevailing trend, this number is expected to rise before the end of the year.
On Saturday the most recent case occurred when Lance “Lenny” Williams, aged 37, was gunned down by assailants while he was engaged in a game of football with his community. the attack was conducted at around 10 pm, when the assailants reportedly arrived in a vehicle to the site of the attack and opened an indiscriminating volley of fire.
Williams was rushed to the Sir Lester Bird Medical Center where he passed away due to his injuries, despite having undergone emergency surgery.
The first case on this long streak occurred in May when Roudi Shamarly, aged 25, was gunned down during an attempted robbery. This was a tragic event that marked the start of a long streak of violent murders and homicides, that escalated rapidly.
In mid-august, a case of double homicide was highlighted when a young woman of 20 and a man aged 24 were shot. The shooting occurred in the Green Bay area and Nia Rose tragically fell victim to it. Keneca Ryan on the other hand continued to fight for his life in a hospital for multiple days before succumbing to his injuries.
This sudden uptake in cases has left the civilian population of Antigua and Barbuda fearing for its security and well-being. The authorities have vowed to take action against those involved in these heinous crimes but have found it difficult to prevent such incidents for obvious reasons.
Considering the fact that these incidents don’t seem to be linked to each other in a wider conspiracy, it is hard to establish a singular system to deal with the problem. The authorities have begun taking action though by trying their best to ensure public safety to the best of their abilities.
How far these initiatives take them is yet to be seen. The general consensus though, is that more such cases are likely to come up before the year ends. This would not just add to the tally of homicide cases in the country but also feed the anxiety of the civilian population which already feels at risk to some extent.
The onus now, is on the Police Force and government agencies, to ensure they can end this streak before it does more harm to innocent people. No loss of life is acceptable but the news of a young woman and a young man dying has shaken the community on the whole. This could very well be the necessary jolt that pushes the authorities into taking sterner steps to counter crime in the country, especially with regards to acts of violence and homicide.