02 April, 2007

Drug Dealing

Primary Schools at Risk.
One of our best primary schools in Anguilla is the Stoney Ground Primary. It is situated at the Stoney Ground end of the Queen Elizabeth Avenue. It stands behind the pretty pink wall on the right in the photograph below. It is staffed by dedicated teachers. Some of the brightest and best taught high school students come from that primary school. Its dedicated teachers succeed in spite of the environment they work in.

Leaning on the eastern wall of the school is a “restaurant”. Its principal sale items appear to be rum and beer. At all hours of the day there are crowds of young men standing around outside drinking alcohol. They are drinking and talking and intermingling with the schoolchildren as they go to and from the school. Their drunken loutish shouting can be clearly heard in the schoolyard. What in God’s name prevailed on the police to permit a liquor licence to an establishment that is practically leaning on the wall of a primary school? Is no one in the Education Department or in the Royal Anguilla Police Force conscious of how inappropriate this is? The purpose of the annual Liquor Licence Court is to give the police and members of the public an opportunity to object to the grant of a licence to an inappropriate establishment. Is none of them bold enough to make a protest at the annual liquor licence court? The location of this establishment clearly makes it inappropriate for it to hold a liquor licence. No properly advised magistrate would renew the licence if the circumstances were pointed out to her. Perhaps one or two of the parents should be turning up to make a protest when the licence comes up next for renewal. Just my suggestion. Or, is every parent too afraid of retaliation?

Liquor sale and consumption outside the school wall is not the only negative influence in the environment that the teachers at the Stoney Ground Primary School have to contend with. As if that were not bad enough, on the opposite side of the Avenue from the “restaurant” is one of the most notorious drug dealing establishments in Anguilla. There is a steady stream of customers all day long. Some of them pretend to be attending the “restaurant”. The dealer runs out from his house and crosses the road to sell his drugs on the steps of the restaurant. The dealing is done in open sight of all passers by. The customer buys a beer and drives off. Children walk to and from school past this activity, day after day. It goes on right in front of their eyes. No one does anything about it. It is almost as if the activity is invisible to adult eyes. Is it that only the children know about it?

The restaurant is said to be owned by a retired Anguillian police officer. I am quite sure that had nothing to do with the reluctance of the police to object to the granting of the liquor licence. Men of principle and integrity would never have allowed such a matter to influence them in doing their duty. They must have a very good reason why, after all these years of broad daylight drugs dealing and sale of alcohol outside the school wall, they have failed to arrest a single person or take a single step to provide a safe environment for our primary school children. I just do not know what it is. Do you?

I took the photograph below on a quiet Sunday. I do not recommend you try to do the same on a workday in broad daylight. Innocent tourists photographing the pretty primary school have been known to get chased by cars filled with tough young men carrying guns.


  1. Justice Mitchell, why are you bashing the useless police? They are not responsible for themselves, any more than small children are responsible for themselves. They have convincingly established this for years. By their deeds ye shall know them. Why do you continue to expect that they will suddenly grow up and act like responsible adults? This is foolish. I know you not to be a fool.

    Who is responsible for the police? Have we not heard a thousand times that the Governor is responsible for law enforcement? What does this mean? That he just continues to let them run wild, like unruly children, and make speeches about how great they are? What is the Governor's function with regard to the police, and when is he going to start functioning like a responsible public official?

    I don't want to hear anything more about the police lacking "resources." How mucha resources does it take not to approve a liquore license next to a school?

    Ah vex.

  2. WHy you think in most countries in order to serve on the police force, you must be a citizen of that country? Sadly, AXa people have no desire to defend their country. Hence we get people who are motivated by money and not by patriotism.

    I see no reason why government can't go on a national campaign to attract more Anguillians into the Police force. And this can start by giving scholarships to anyone who wnats to do a 2 opr 4 year degree in Police Science or Criminal Justice.

    Too often the Police force is marketed to individuals who get 4 or less subjects.

  3. Police work in Anguilla is boring drudgery, working as pimped-up house slaves for little men who carry sticks and act like peacocks.


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