Gang violence among youth on the rise in Antigua and Barbuda

The content originally appeared on: Antigua News Room

After popular gangs like Bloods and Crips fizzled out years ago, people all around the country breathed a sigh of relief but now dangerous gangs are popping up once again.

Earlier this week, a 15-year-old student of all boy’s school, Antigua Grammar School, was rushed to hospital following what appears to have been a premeditated attack by three unknown young men wearing hoodies and armed with a machete.

The child is said to be recovering after he sustained chops to the back of his head and right elbow.

It is said that gangs called – 2 Drilly, its affiliate 2 Drilly Girls, and alleged rival 700 Bones —are behind the attacks.

The gangs- which consist of children between the ages of 13 to16 years were reportedly formed in schools and the students have been observed posing with weapons in online posts and announcing their next targets-other school children.

Residents have taken to social media, expressing their frustration and pleading with parents to take charge of their children.

Popular soca artist Tian Winter has even used his influence by appealing to young people to “channel the energy the right way.”

Attorney General and Minister for Public Safety Steadroy Benjamin has since announced that there will be a review of the Child Justice Act which was passed in 2016 to make it that these young criminals held fully accountable for their actions.

He also said that the “the Minister of Education will be convening a meeting with the heads of the two schools and the police will also be conducting their own strategy meeting.”

In addition, officials are also considering banning certain types of music from being played on the airwaves.

Minister of Information Melford Nicholas said on Thursday that “there need to be certain regulations governing the cleanliness of music that is playing on the airways … it is something that we are going to have to look at responsibly as a society.” (LOOP)