Antigua:Increased migration contributing to spike in crime rate

(ANTIGUA OBSERVER) – Joanne Massiah, leader of the Democratic National Alliance (DNA), feels that mass migration of CARICOM citizens and other nationals into Antigua and Barbuda is contributing to the increase in criminal activity.

Massiah’s comment comes on the heels of the country’s efforts to host people from Caribbean islands affected by Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

Speaking on OBSERVER radio yesterday, Massiah said that the escalation in crime is creating an atmosphere of fear and terror among the residents of the twin island state.

“The execution style killings that we have been witnessing is a cause for concern. What we are seeing now, and what we have been seeing for a while, is an infiltration and penetration of a foreign criminal culture which seems to be taking root in Antigua and Barbuda,” she said.

“We are seeing situations now where I am fearful that every home in Antigua and Barbuda, down to the bathroom windows will have to be burglar barred. And the majority of times, the persons who are perpetrating these crimes are not Antiguan and Barbudan citizens. Because we don’t live like that. This is not our culture.”

The DNA leader argued that a number of CARICOM citizens who arrive on the island do not have the resources to maintain themselves, and the practice of “sponsorship,” is not being properly scrutinised. Furthermore, she added “I have not seen that word ‘sponsorship’ anywhere in the legislation or the regulation.”