CABINET NOTES: Wednesday 6 September


HURST REPORTS ON CABINET of Wednesday 6 September 2023

The Cabinet began its session with a prayer from a Minister of Religion. The Cabinet expressed its condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of the policeman, Robert Dyer, who died in a tragic accident on the Sir Sidney Walling Highway, two days ago. His death is a great loss to the country, the Cabinet determined, and asked the country to continue to pray for his family.

1. The Cabinet invited to its meeting the Commissioner of Police and six of the top brass of the Royal Antigua and Barbuda Police Force, and the Chief of Defense Staff of the Antigua and Barbuda Defense Force, in order to discuss the manner in which the use of illegal firearms can be further curbed. The Police reported that 35 unlawful firearms were seized during the stop-and-search operations which have been carried-out by joint Police and Military personnel. A number of options were examined for increased sentences to be imposed onthose persons found with unlicensed firearms, whatever may be their purpose. It was reported that several business persons may have unlawfully acquired firearms after being denied an application for a firearm license, in order to protect themselves. Criminals have both acquired or rented firearms in order to carry out robberies and other criminal acts that involve the use, or threat of use, of a firearm. There will be further consultations between the Attorney General’s Office and the Royal Police Force to determine the extent to which the law governing punishment for possession of unlicensed firearms should be strengthened.  

2. The Cabinet invited the Minister of Social Transformation to its meeting in order to examine the nation’s policy on handling persons suffering with mental health challenges. The Sir Lester Bird Medical Center is not designed to treat mental patients. The Clarevue Mental Hospital is the place where patients suffering mental health issues are to be treated,since a psychiatrist is assigned to that hospital; however, many patients who are in a state of readiness to return to their homes have been abandoned by family members. The Minister also reported that Alzheimer’s is affecting a larger population of the nation’s elderly citizens than ever before. Daycare Centers for the elderly are likely to become necessary throughout Antigua and Barbuda. The Cabinet was reminded that the CARE Project exists to provide living quarters to children with extreme disabilities. The youthful students attending the Adele School are differently abled; several are autistic and many can learn to be productive. It was reported that one of the highest mathematical grades achieved among all students in a particular age group was an autistic student who mastered mathematics. The Minister also reported that many of our young people are performing really well in NGOs that are training youthful leaders for the future.

3. The Cabinet invited the APUA Water manager, the Chief Financial Officer of APUA, the Manager of the Electricity Department to address three (3) matters.

i. The adequate supply of potable water: APUA produces a little more than 7 million gallons of water daily but demand exceeds 11 million gallons daily; making up that shortfall is to be achieved by building a 3.5 million gallon plant at Bethesda, and adding several smaller plants at Fort James and Ffryes. 60% of all desalinated water that is produced comes from the units at Crabbes; any catastrophe there can adversely affect the water supply throughout Antigua. Two of six units at Crabbes have been refurbished; they are 30 years old. The plant at Ffryes has been recently upgraded too85% capacity.

ii. The APUA Electricity Manager shared with Cabinet the reasons for a spate of electricity outages during the past weekend. While undergoing maintenance, a failure at the Friars Hill substation led to automatic load-shedding that caused many homeowners to suffer a loss of electricity. A feeder was overloaded and caused a loss of 14 megawatts at Black Pine (Antigua Power Company) to be out for many hours. The challenges have now been overcome and home owners are now back to normal.

iii. The Cabinet was informed that two massive tanks,built for Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) storage, have been installed near the LNG Electricity Plant that ought to come into commission in October. The LNG Plant will provide electricity that will exceed the peak use of power, by more than 10 megawatts. The LNG plantwill be cheaper to operate and will reduce the carbon footprint of Antigua and Barbuda; it will become the property of APUA through a BOOT (Build Own Operate Transfer) arrangement.

4. The Cabinet took note of the number of road accidents and fatalities that have occurred in the past weeks. The nation recorded its sixth road fatality who was a police officer; he died on Sir Sydney Walling Highway. The Cabinet urges all road users to exercise greater care, to slow down, and to abide by the speed limits. Speed kills, the Cabinet reminds, and death is irreversible.

5. The Cabinet informed the Clerk to Parliament and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, that the sitting of the House planned for Thursday September 7th 2023, will be postponed.


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  1. Interesting debates in cabinet. I commend the police officers for taking so many firearms off the streets. However increasing penalties will do no good and will NOT be a deterrent. What we need is intelligence increase on why there are so many firearms on the road? Where are they coming from? How can the police increase in their detection and curtailing before these guns are used to cause destruction etc! Intelligence, intelligence, intelligence! It is now the go go world of policing, internationally etc. there perhaps needs to be a few adjustments needed to be made but those cannot be discussed here!

  2. There must be an Intelligence unit tasks with collection of data, intelligence and national security matters.

    I constantly inform the Prime Minister, Attorney General, Police Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner about the need for such Intelligence and National Security Unit (INSU).

    there are folks with Bachelors degree, masters degree in related areas that is available to use all available evidence, Intelligence and come to strategic and pragmatic conclusions on how to decrease this pandemic of crimes that I literally predicted to the police commissioner and the deputy before it started. I told the Prime Minister and the Attorney General this too.

    Increasing gun penalty will not be a deterrence, whoever suggest that only shows their incompetence in not being able to understand the Intelligence from the community.

    I will give a clue on what needs to be done for a while, my police flooding technique, officers, decreasing opportunities to commit crimes until Intelligence is gathered and analyze to get to the route cause of the crime increase (where guns are coming from? why are youths committing more crimes than usual? where are the hot spots? What tools and strategies are needed?).

    My flooding techniques at this moment is needed. Officers, retired officers, immigration officers, defense force, and those members in the community who are trusted with fire-arms licenses must coordinate and all at once regularly substantially shows presence in communities, eliminating virtually all opportunities for crimes to be committed. This can be done on random days and nights, along with collections of data/intelligence from these nights, so that when flooding is longer being used, any special unit who goes to communities to prevent or detect crimes can do so with intelligence using an informed strategy, to determine at minimum locations, time, etcetera.

    I do not believe my flooding is a permanent thing but should be temporary until Intelligence is gathered, a working strategy is had that actually decrease crimes longterm.

    Also, there are in fact competent people who has the advance degree and exceptional ability in criminology, policing, law, social science (some of us has have not one but more than one), starting using these folks. This Era requires bold moves, strategic and calculated moves that is base on pragmatic analysis of data and research.

    I have more strategies but i am unable to publicize them via this medium. The folks in authority are free to contact me. They know who I am.

    This is the time to be scientific, I promise this is all that is needed to permanently and substantially decrease crimes.

    The national security council should have intelligence and national security experts, social scientist, and legal experts, not mainly politicians. The council should then after reviewing data/intelligence gives briefs to politicians but I strongly believe politicians should not be in that discussion room until experts makes decisions base on data/intelligence. Only after these decisions by experts it should be presented to politicians, discussed and executed, if consent must be given by such Minister/politician.

    There is no place for politics in intelligence, counterintelligence and national security, during collection, analysis and recommendation. After these, then your politicians can rule.

  3. So no discussion about the cluster-f*ck surrounding Browne and the under-handed private sale of the Alfa-Nero? Is that a sub-cabinet discussion held in secret?
    Y’all realize the scam Gassy tried to pull right? OK! Where are the voices of the Opposition parties?
    Y’all also realize that he is the laughing-stock of the Prime Ministers in this region, right?
    He and his AG, and all of his lemmings need to go! Can we impeach?
    @BRIXTONIAN, where are you?

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