Prominent Attorney Monique Francis-Gordon is making a desperate call for the police to seek outside professional help in their efforts to bring the perpetrators who have terrorised and sexually assaulted a number of women across the country to justice.
Francis-Gordon?s appeal came hours after police reported the sexual assault of two women in the Browne?s Avenue area, yesterday morning, at about 3 am.
The sisters, one of them a teenage, were accosted in their home by a masked, gun- wielding rapist, who shot the elder three times in the chest area, after she put up a fight.
The woman is now warded at Mount St John?s Medical Centre (MSJMC).
?You need somebody like the FBI Serious Crimes Unit, Scotland Yard Serious Crimes Unit, who are specialists in dealing with profiling this particular type of behaviour,? Francis-Gordon said on Voice of the People on Thursday.
Francis- Gordon said the expertise needed to solve this kind of crime is not present in the police force.
?I do not believe we have anybody here capable of doing that detailed profiling because we must admit there is a new phenomenon in our society? the amount of rapes we are having is beyond our capabilities,? she said.
The lawyer, herself the victim of a violent crime two years ago, stopped short of calling the police incompetent. She said of their abilities, ?The police are not on top of their game.?
Recounting her experiences with rape victims in the court, the attorney said oftentimes the district doctors to whom victims are sent are not available, and the victims are advised to remain unwashed for as long as 24 hours.
Women from all across the country are expressing fears, anger and frustration, as too frequent for comfort, reports are made of women being violated.
Between October 11 and 22 there are four rapes and two attempted rapes on record
On Wednesday, October 14, a 17 year old was raped in Gray?s Farm. On Thursday, October 15, a 26 year old narrowly escaped being raped in Ottos. On Friday, October 16 a woman from Martin?s Village, escaped being sexually assaulted when a masked man entered her home. On Tuesday, October 13, a 32 year old was abducted and raped while walking along Camacho?s Avenue.
Francis-Gordon said she?s not convinced that there is no evidence from which the police could deduce the culprits.
?Even if a rapist is masked, even if he uses a condom, there is a trace where there is a struggle. There is fibre transferral; sometimes fingerprints can be lifted from the skin,? the attorney said.
Elaborating further, she said,? It should be routine where anybody who comes into police station and makes a report of an assault, a rape of any sort of violent crime, automatically you get an evidence bag and take clippings of your nails.?
However, Acting Superintendent and second in command at the Criminal Investigation Department, Nuffield Burnette told The Daily OBSERVER, the police have worked along with Scotland Yard ? and we are not afraid of asking for help when we think we need it.?
The officer said the organisation has had the services of a profiler who worked with them.
Speaking specifically to trace evidence left by a rapist, the acting superintendent said, ? It is not just about fibres, you have to link somebody with the crime. We would have to have a suspect to link with what ever fibres we have gathered.?
The second in command at CID said it is not lack of capability that is preventing the capture of the rapists. ? We have the capability,? the officer said, ? We have trained people in forensics. What we don?t have is a lab, but we have been sending away evidence on a regular basis.?
According to the attorney, the police public relations machinery needs to crank up a notch or two. She noted that the lawmen must be aware that rapists have targetted young women leaving a particular nightclub.
She said the officers should be advising women to travel in groups or have male escorts on their way home. The warning, she said, should be out there to be alert for vehicles which appear to be on one?s trail, and that women should be advised never to drive straight home if they think they are being followed.
?If we are really serious about this, we have to get out there and be proactive,? Francis-Gordon said.
Asked, by this newspaper to respond to the attorney?s statements, Acting Superintendent Nuffield Burnette said the police are, in fact, taking the matter seriously.
?For every other rape that happens, it is a nightmare for the police organisation of Antigua