September 14, 2010
Tougher penalties for criminals using masks

A call has been made for legislation to impose stiffer penalties on persons who commit offences with the use of a mask.{{more}}

On Friday, September 10, Commissioner of Police Keith Miller told the media that he has already made the recommendation to Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, Minister of National Security.

He made the disclosure while responding to a question regarding the steps which the police have been taking to curb the spate of armed robberies across the state.

Miller said the police do not wish to divulge what they are doing operationally to apprehend the criminals, but efforts are being made both legally and operationally to address the situation.

On the issue of legislation, Miller said: “Let us say, for example, someone is convicted for an offence and the evidence came out that he was using a mask or even had in his possession a mask, [legislation should be introduced] for that sentence to be more severe.

“Let us say you commit burglary without a mask and burglary with a mask it’s similar to aggravated burglary. If you commit burglary as opposed to aggravated burglary they are different: in that you’d use a weapon so to speak in aggravated burglary and the sentence is more severe. So the recommendation is similar,” said Miller.

The COP mentioned that a recommendation was also made for more severe penalties to be put in place for crimes committed with the use of a firearm.

“Let us say for example you commit a mere wounding with a knife and one with a firearm, they must not have the same sentence. That with the firearm must carry a more severe sentence,” said Miller.