ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Opposition MP Gaston Browne has bitten the bullet and is offering his constituents in the crime besieged community of Villa $1,000 for every illegal firearm surrendered in his drive to “get such weapons off the streets.”
He has however, stressed that he would not be handling the weapons, instead receiving information on who should be compensated from the police.
Browne told OBSERVER Media the “details of how the process would work” must be ironed out.
The monetary incentive has also been extended to other neighbourhoods in Browne’s City West constituency, with the MP saying that the time is ripe for another gun amnesty.
“I hope the police and certainly the policy makers will have another gun amnesty to encourage these individuals to turn in their firearms,” he said.
Browne was speaking ahead of a town hall meeting the police force is holding this evening with Villa residents to formulate measures to deal with the rising crime there.
“Luckily for us in City West there’ve been no fatalities so far, but we can not afford to wait until these senseless acts of violence become fatal in order to act. So we are seeking to be proactive to put some form of short-term strategies in place pending a more long term comprehensive crime reduction strategy,” he said.
(More in today’s Daily OBSERVER)