Ditherers and Platitudes. I am sure we all remember with pride and a sense of accomplishment the news from April 2007. The Hon Chief Minister, in response to near panic in the community at the rise in the numbers of burglaries, rapes, murders, and youthful drug-fuelled mayhem, set up a Multidisciplinary Committee on Crime. The purpose of the committee was to “design a strategy and the development of an action plan to facilitate the prevention and correction of crime on
"As part of the efforts to address the recent upsurge in the incidents of crime, the Honourable Osbourne Fleming, Chief Minister convened an emergency meeting at his offices on Wednesday, April 11, 2007.
In addition to members of the government and opposition member the Hon Hubert Hughes, present at the meeting were Dame Bernice Lake, QC, Commissioner of Police, Keithley Benjamin and Sergeant Rudolph Proctor, Superintendent Minister of the Methodist Church, the Rev. Dr. Clifton Niles, Chief Education Officer, Mrs. Rhonda Connor, Commissioner of Social Development, Mr. Stanford Richardson, Director of Tourism, Mrs. Amelia Vanterpool-Kubisch, Chief Immigration Officer Ms. Laureen Bryan, Executive Directors of the Anguilla Hotel Association and the Anguilla Chamber of Commerce and Industry, as well as other representatives from the Department of Education and the Anguilla Hotel & Tourism Association.
[Zealous puffery about what we all "must do" omitted.]
The purpose of the committee established by the Government of Anguilla is to therefore assist with the designing of a strategy and the development of an action plan to facilitate the prevention and correction of crime on
I am sure the families of Stacy Ann Brooks-Laurent, shot to death on 3 August as she sat in her car, and of Randy Audain, shot in the head on 10 August, must be reassured to know that this committee was established. All Anguillians expected much from it.
The meeting appointing the committee was well publicised.
The Anguillian Newspaper did a story on it in its 13 April 2007 issue.
In an article published in Anguilla Guide entitled “Reclaiming Our Paradise”, the anonymous author showered high accolades on government for setting up this committee. This article was written after the famous 16 August “Day of Mourning, Repentance and Prayer”. The author wrote then, “What I would say, though, is that if it is business as usual after all the mourning, repenting and praying, then the “Day of Mourning, Repentance and Prayer” would have been in vain.” This was to be prophetic.
I have checked with three people in Education, Social Services and the private sector who are working directly and effectively with young people. Not the young people who want to become dentists, accountants and proctologists but the boys we are all concerned about. Like me, all of them heard of this important initiative in April of last year. And none of us has heard a word about it since then.
What has it accomplished? Has it met once since it was set up?
Did it ever design a strategy? Did it ever come up with the promised action plan?
And, how many young Anguillian men have been shot, stabbed or murdered since April 2007?
How do we put up with such ditherers and their platitudes?