Courtesy the Anguillian Newspaper
A select group of officers from the Royal Anguilla Police Force began a three-day Gang Investigation Training Course on Tuesday this week, conducted mainly by personnel from the FBI and the United States Department of Homeland Security.
In chairing the opening ceremony at the Tourist Board’s conference room, Acting Deputy Police Commissioner, Superintendent Elliott Forbes, said the training was timely and fitting. He made the statement against the background of a spate of shooting incidents inAnguillain which there were two deaths and a number of serious injuries.
“The course is also consistent with the Royal Anguilla Police Force’s policing plan to build its human capacity to deal with such incidents,” he stated.
Police Commissioner, Rudolph Proctor, said his Management Team felt that in order to properly address issues related to gang violence, there was a need for officers to have some form of training in that area. “Gang activity in our community has claimed the lives of some of our young people and, in some cases, it has left some of them paralysed, while instilling fear in the communities and among the citizens and visitors of our territory,” he stated. “It is the Royal Anguilla Police Force’s intention to tackle this emerging threat head-on and to upgrade our methods, skills and approach in dealing with gang activity. Hence, we are embarking on this training initiative as a first step. It is to make officers more aware and equipped with the knowledge and skills to deal with such a threat.”
Mr. Larry Covington, the FCO Overseas Territories Law Enforcement Adviser, said it was his job to assist the police forces in the territories to build capacity, capability and improve law enforcement. “You got an immense amount of knowledge about the small number of people in this territory that are engaging in gang violence…and it is important that we protect the public we serve,” he stated.
“We must make sure that the community ofAnguillais safe as best we can. We have to look at all the various techniques that are available to us and that includes making sure that our young do not get into gangs. But we must also ensure that those who get in gangs and commit violent crime, are properly brought to justice because, at the end of the day, there are victims and families who are hurting today as a result of their actions.”
Mr. Covington’s colleagues who came to Anguilla for the training course were Mr. Bill Nicholson, Assistant FBI Legal Attache to the Barbados/Bahamas sub-office; Mr. John Haven, FBI Special Agent with the Newark Division; and from the Department of Homeland Security,Mr. Timothy Bradley,Caribbean Attache; Mr. Alvin De la Rosa, Programme Manager, National Gang Unit and Mr. Lemuel Lampkins, Miami Gang Instructor.