In the wake of a recent rash of crimes targeting tourists in Antigua, six police officers have been assigned to the Ministry of Tourism to patrol beach areas frequented by visitors.

Two police vehicles also have been assigned for the officers' use in patrolling the areas, according to a statement from the Ministry of Tourism.

Two more vehicles and two more officers will be added within the next few months.

Additional police coverage is planned for the Redcliffe and Heritage Quay areas and waterfront shopping areas in St. John's, on days when cruise ships are in port.

The action follows recent robberies of several cruise passengers in those areas.

"It is the responsibility and obligation of all of us who reside within Antigua and Barbuda to ensure the safety and security of our visitors and to protect the integrity of our tourism industry," the ministry said.

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