By anguillian February 22, 2016 11:41 Updated





L-R: Ag. ASP Allan Coppin, Ag. Deputy Commissioner Elliott Forbes, Commissioner Paul Morrison and Ag. Insp. Randolph Yearwood

As the Royal Anguilla Police Force continues to investigate a series of violent crimes on the island over the years, Commissioner Paul Morrison has announced the formation of a Serious Crime Command Unit, headed by specially-handpicked and qualified detectives.

At the same time, at a press conference on Tuesday, February 16, it was disclosed that a young man in his 20s was arrested and charged, the day before, for the murder of Leroy Carter and the attempted murder of Jillian Richardson.

Mr. Morrison appeared with a number of other senior officers who are members of the Command Unit. He addressed the media representatives as follows: “As you know, we have had a number of murders in 2015 and a significant number of shootings where, luckily, people have not died. However, some of those shootings have involved individuals who sustained serious injuries or wounds. Earlier this year, we have had one murder on the 28th of January and we have had two shootings – one in Blowing Point and the other in The Valley. Luckily, those have survived.

“I said when I came, and I said it on a number of radio-shows and in other press broadcasts that, at some point, the structure of the Police Force will have to be looked at. We got about one hundred officers, however whether they are in the right place is yet to be determined. We were hoping to go through a process which engages the wider Police Force in planning the model we would use, and how these officers might be better distributed. However, the events that have taken place this year…meant that the Command Team made a decision that we couldn’t wait until May, when the new recruits are back, and that we have to take some measures now to properly address the issues surrounding serious crime.”

He observed that sometimes when there is serious crime, the Police Force lacks the capability and structure to solve it. The decision was therefore taken to set up a Serious Crime Unit. Mr. Morrison explained the composition of the Unit in part as follows: “There will be nine detective officers under the leadership of Acting Detective Inspector Randolph Yearwood, and their sole purpose would be to look at the murders, the shootings, any child sexual offences, kidnapping and extortion (although some of the offences are rare). That would allow us to function on those investigations and then to start building the cases to bring people to justice. I can say, that although we are launching it officially on the 22nd [of February], we have been working on this model now for six to eight weeks by default because [of the pressure of the Command Team on the suppression of serious crime].

“As a result of that, last night (Monday, February 15), we charged an individual with the murder of Leroy Carter and the attempted murder of Jillian Richardson, both offences having taken place in April last year. The approach we have adopted has already shown that it can lead to results.”

Responding to a question, the Commissioner said that while the UK Metropolitan Police Review Team of investigators, who visited the island recently in connection with a number of murders, had helped to tie up some of the inquiries, this case referred to above “has been unlocked by other detectives [in Anguilla] along the lines that we have been pursuing.” He stated that the Police are building on the inquiries of the Metropolitan Review Team, adding: “We have to have the capability to follow these lines of inquiry, and I am very positive that there will be further arrests, but within what timeframe I can’t tell you.”

In continuing his discussion on the Serious Crime Unit, the Commissioner said that with the setting up of its major component (for murders and other shootings etc) it had “left a gap in what will happen to burglary, assaults and thefts”. He explained that these and other offences will be classified under the Volume Crime component headed by Inspector Emris Rogers, and includes four detectives. Acting Superintendent Allan Coppin and Acting Deputy Commissioner, Elliott Forbes, will be working together on the Operation component of the Serious Crime Unit under which falls such functional branches as CID, Prosecution, and the Drugs and Fire Arms Task Force. “We are just re-shaping the organisation to better prepare to take on Volume Crime and to separate Volume Crime from Serious Crime, and to concentrate on the more serious matters.”

In concluding his statement to the media representatives, Mr. Morrison said: “That is why we brought you here today, just to say that we are taking [crime] seriously. This country is bleeding and a lot of people are crying out for hope…I think that the fact that we charged someone with the murder from last year, I hope that it sends a positive message out that we are not going to let these matters rest. We are actively investigating them and we will seek justice for the victims.”

He added that, among other matters, the Police are working on protection plans for witnesses summoned in court appearances to enable the Police to secure convictions and other issues.

By anguillian February 22, 2016 11:41 Updated


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