Beginning early next year, a sex offenders registry will be implemented by the government of Antigua and Barbuda. Attorney General Steadroy Benjamin confirmed this development stating that all residents will soon be alerted when a sex offender moves into their neighborhood.
The incentive had been discussed on several instances and was also announced in 2019 in Parliament after Minister of Sports, National Festivals, Culture and the Arts, Daryll Matthew called on the Attorney General to put legislation in place to prevent convicted sexual offenders from hanging around areas – where young people frequent daily. At that time, Benjamin had issued a direct warning statement to offenders:
“Leave the children alone. I am going to make sure that that is going to be on the list before the end of March of this year. We are going to make certain also to notify the neighborhoods into which you are going to reside,” he said during his contribution to the budget debate.
“Mothers in the community must know that this person is a sexual predator and special care must be taken to protect those young, vulnerable persons.”
Now, nearly three years later, Benjamin is promising that the registry will soon be operational.
A sex offender registry is a system designed to allow government and law enforcement authorities to keep tabs on the activities of sex offenders, including those who have completed their criminal sentences. Registration is accompanied by residential address notification requirements.
Registered sex offenders are restricted from being in the presence of underage persons, living in proximity to a school or day care center, owning toys or items targeted towards children, or using the Internet.