Monday, MarchThe Government of Antigua and Barbuda takes every incident involving the safety of our visitors and our citizens seriously and commits itself to implementing policies and initiatives to ensure security and safety for everyone.

The country has utilized advances in technology with the investment in a multi-million dollar communications system for rapid response by law enforcement and has strengthened the manpower of the Royal Police Force of Antigua and Barbuda (RPFAB) to enhance the safety of both residents and visitors to the islands.

Among the new measures adopted are the Crime Stoppers Forum which includes a toll free anonymous tips number 1-800-TIPS, the Dare Program in schools targeting 6th graders, and ongoing work with the ONDCP. The Royal Police Force of Antigua & Barbuda also works in close cooperation with the National Defense Force and has been working with private security firms to provide them with training and to share intelligence for increased efficiency.

The Government in partnership with the private sector has facilitated the installation of a hightech, 24 hours CCTV camera surveillance system by The Antigua and Barbuda National Parks Authority in strategic points, including Nelsons Dockyard and within the environs of the yachting community. Other initiatives include:

•  24-hour Mobile Police Patrols have been created and a specialist Forensic Team has been formed.

•  Demolition of abandoned buildings, clearing of excessive vegetation and additional street lighting has been added in those communities where criminal activities are more likely. The Hon. Jon Maginley, Minister of Tourism, with the responsibility for National Parks, has welcomed the continued upgrade and implementation of security features throughout the country, he said, "We have adopted a zero tolerance to criminals and their behavior. The Ministry of Tourism, Civil Aviation and Culture will therefore continue to work with all our non-government organizations to intensify our efforts in making our island a safe, secure and peaceful destination."

The recently introduced community – based policing programme, whereby police officers have been assigned to particular communities to work closely with the local organizations, businesses and residents, has been well received by the citizens of Antigua and Barbuda and is demonstrating positive results, as law abiding citizens come forward with information which has greatly assisted police in the fight against criminal activity.