Saturday 23 September, 2017

Barbados is still safe, says AG

(L-R) BHTA Chairman, Roseanne Myers; acting Commissioner of Police Tyrone Griffith; Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite.

(L-R) BHTA Chairman, Roseanne Myers; acting Commissioner of Police Tyrone Griffith; Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite.

Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite has criticised those who are giving the impression to outsiders that Barbados’ crime problem is beyond repair.

Brathwaite issued stern words to those who were using social media, particularly Whatsapp, as a means of fear-mongering, saying these ones were only harming the Barbados brand.

His comments came as he addressed the Barbados Hotel & Tourism Association (BHTA) Third Quarterly General Meeting this morning at the Barbados Hilton Resort.

Brathwaite assured the audience of hoteliers and tourism officials that Barbados was still a safe place to work and live. He said the Royal Barbados Police Force (RBPF) and former and current governments had, for the most part, a handle on the country’s crime problems, despite challenges.

Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy, (right), BTMI Chairman Alvin Jemmott (second right) and CHTA President, Patricia Affonso-Dass (foreground), were among the attendees.

“It is not by accident that this country has remained well recognised as a peaceful place to live, work or reside. That is because successive administrations, commissioners and teams have worked on a crime security strategy,” said Brathwaite.

He also criticised the media for exaggerating gun crimes and murder statistics, claiming that some news outlets were not telling the whole story. He said Barbados continues to maintain an average murder rate of 28 per year for “the last twenty years or so” although there may be spikes in statistics.

He reiterated there was no need to panic.

“My message really is that while we have some concern about the level of violent crime, we do not believe that as a country we need to press the panic button.”

In her presentation, Chairman of the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA), Roseanne Myers, said tourism players refuse to allow the Barbados brand to be defined by the “wanton acts of a reckless few”, adding criminals will not destroy what they have worked so tirelessly to build.

Like the Attorney General, she too believed the Barbados tourism brand was still a strong one and emphasised that through the Social Partnership, BHTA members are willing to do their part to fight the scourge of crime.