Police see reduction in tourism related crime
Twenty-two members of the Royal Barbados Police Force’s Special Beach Patrol unit are more visible today, thanks to uniforms supplied in part by the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA), the Tourism Development Corporation (TDC) and private security firm, Amalgamated Security Services Limited (ASSL).
Speaking at the launch on Tuesday morning at Hastings Rocks, Commissioner of Police Tyrone Griffith told journalists the transition from the traditional grey shirt and red striped pants uniform worn by the regular officers, including those on beach patrol, had been a long time coming.
“I thought it was really necessary to make them more comfortable given the environment in which they work and so . . . the presentation of these uniforms really should go a long way in comforting these officers who do yeoman-like work daily, as they seek to make visitors to our shores as well as locals comfortable and secure. Words cannot express the excellence that these officers have displayed.
“In 2014, we were at some 295 crimes reported visitor crimes and at that time visitor arrivals were at around 1.2 million. And now we’re now somewhere at around 1.45 million in 2018 and that crime rate came down to about 250 and it is still on a downward trend which has occurred over the last five years even though more and more visitors are coming to our shores,” he revealed, attributing this success to the work of the beach patrols.
New Police Beach Patrol uniforms
Meantime Chief Executive Officer of the BHTA, Senator Rudy Grant has called on Barbadians to do more to support the work of the Police Force, adding that his organization was happy to have partnered with them on the uniform initiative.
"In the past we have given support for Segways, we have given support from CCTV cameras, and very shortly we will be speaking to the refurbishment of the Police outpost in St Lawrence Gap and that is being undertaken by the BHTA in collaboration with the Tourism Development Corporation and 11 businesses operating in St Lawrence Gap as well.
"So today we recommit to working with the Royal Barbados Police Force to ensure that Barbados continues to be a safe and secure destination and that [it] continues to be sage for all Barbadians,” he stressed
The BHTA CEO noted that this relationship was very important as stakeholder in the island’s tourism product sought to ensure the brand element of safety and security used as a selling point for destination Barbados, was protected.
“Safety and security is simply not a matter for the police. It is a matter for all Barbadians. The police who will be working on the beach and utilizing the uniforms will be engaging in security activity for visitors as well as locals . . . the BHTA, on occasion, is informed by various members about beach harassment. We are very hopeful that with the new uniform and with a greater presence on the beach that is an issue that we will be able to minimize.
“Of course the visitor experience is important and the vacationing of a visitor is really about an experience and that experience involves interaction with a number of individuals and a number of stakeholder and a number of Barbadians and we certainly have to as Barbadians ensure that we do our very best in welcoming persons into our island,” Senator Grant further added