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Gold and metal crime laws coming

The introduction of promised legislation to deal with crime related to the “disposal” of gold and metals is imminent.

Quiet courtyard of Parliament.

Quiet courtyard of Parliament.

Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite told members of the Government side of the House of Assembly this today, as he voiced concerned about robberies and burglaries against the person and churches.

“It is not by accident that our biggest problem in terms of crime in this country is with respect burglaries and robberies and the emphasis is on getting gold and yes we have promised that we are going to modernised our legislation and I believe if all goes well we should maybe have it done today,” the St. Philip South MP told the Lower House.

“It is my hope that we can have a modern piece of legislation dealing with the whole issue of disposal of second hand gold and metals, which is causing us significant problems.

“If there is one area that has been causing significant problems in terms of policing in this country [it] has been the issue of robberies and particular people have their jewellery snatched from around their necks,” he noted.

Brathwaite said churches were no longer sacred to some criminals.

“When I was growing up the church was seen as some place where one went for reverence. If there was one place that you know was free of crime and free of any trouble [it] was the church, and we have a situation today where young men, I assume that they are young men, see no problem with going into churches and robbing churches and that’s why we have been saying that we need to rebuild the society,” he stated.

“Recently at Holy Trinity they turned up to church and found that one of their television screens was gone and a couple of their fans. When I was growing up the thought never crossed our minds that you can go into a church and rob a church.”

“On Sunday morning a lady on her way to church was robbed of her bangles and stuff. We really must rebuild this society and that’s why we keep on emphasising, … and my ministry has been doing its part in terms of trying to get young people to understand that there is a better way, that there is a better path,” he added.

The official said in light of such challenges there was a need for changes in the fight against crime.

“It is for that reason that I have been emphasising over the last couple of months that we need to look at the root causes of our crime and try to address them,” he said.

Brathwaite also did not accept the excuse that much of this crime was related to unemployment in the country.

“Yes times are more difficult, and yes one would suggest that if a man is working that he may be less inclined to rob and steal etceteras, but … being unemployed is no excuse for breaking the law and I dare say that when I read the newspapers in terms of where people have been charged I don’t see individuals going into court and saying… ‘Sir, I was hungry and that’s why I stole a loaf of bread’. They don’t steal bread and biscuits … to feed themselves,” he said.

“So I don’t understand the link that people have been making that guys are unemployed and therefore automatically that they are driving to crime.” (SC)

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