The National Security Council is devising measures to curb the upsurge in robberies across Antigua.
In the space of one week there were two robberies and one attempted robbery, all involving the use of firearms.
In response, the Police are offering a reward of $25,000 to anyone who can provide credible information that leads to the arrest of those involved in these recent incidents, including a shooting on lower Newgate Street.
While he did not detail the other measures to be taken, Prime Minister Gaston Browne, who chairs the Council, promised that no effort will be spared in dealing with the issue.
Browne says that law enforcers will be employing covert operations to target persons believed to be involved in criminal activities. He says this rogue element is taking advantage of the mandatory wearing of masks in order to commit their crimes.
Browne claims the Government will be expending a significant amount of resources on the Police to enable them to fight the crime wave effectively.
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister says that lawmen will also be stepping up patrols across the island as a means of deterring criminal activity.
The Police and the Minister of National Security have come in for serious criticism of late – including from retired police officers – for their weak response to the escalation in serious crimes. Starting with the alleged abduction of Indian businessman Mehul Choksi, in May, residents say the Minister and law-enforcement have been either absent or too low profile, and this has emboldened the criminal element.