Photo of the Remarkables mountain range in Queenstown, New Zealand.

Tourism sector puts faith in cops over crime

| 14/08/2017 | 2 Comments

(CNS Business): The Cayman Islands Tourism Association (CITA) has said it is encouraged to learn that the police are now addressing several of the concerns stakeholders in the sector have had for some time about rising crime. Following a meeting with the police commissioner and other senior police officers as well as government officials, CITA said it was pleased to learn that its previous request for dedicated officers in tourism zones will soon be part of a community policing unit. The private sector tourism association also said it was hoping technology improvements will enable better communications among stakeholders and the RCIPS.

With crime still a major challenge on the island, the tourism sector has particular concerns that the Cayman Islands is in danger of losing its reputation as one of the safest jurisdictions in the Caribbean. But following the meeting, CITA president Theresa Leacock-Broderick said, “The commissioner demonstrates a thorough understanding of the larger issues underpinning the source of crime. We are encouraged to learn of the development of a multifaceted strategic approach.”

The meeting provided tourism stakeholders with a chance to make direct recommendations as well as learn about Police Commissioner Derek Byrne’s approach and some of the most recent initiatives being undertaken to address the gaps and challenges in service.

Road and marine regulations and enforcement remain crucial concerns in regard to visitor safety as infractions easily result in fatalities, CITA noted in a press release about the meeting, adding that the recent fire services training and ‘search and rescue’ emergency services along the coast of Seven Mile Beach were a welcome implementation.

Byrne said the police were looking forward to building a relationship with CITA as he acknowledged the importance of the sector to the local economy and the safety that visitors need to retain the destination’s attraction. “Our expanded community policing department will enable us to work more closely with CITA to prevent crime through improved safety messaging to tourists, in addition to other anti-crime activities foreseen within our greater partnership,” Byrne said.

CITA said that it is also advocating for greater inter-agency collaboration and improvements in crime prevention, safety measures, emergency response and victim care.

“There is undoubtedly a shared resolve in the goal of ensuring all victims, whether resident (or) visitors, receive the best emergency care possible and are treated with compassion. Yet the level of professionalism and situational crisis management is particularly crucial to incidents involving visitors to our islands as the response of the local authorities can make all the difference in the unfortunate situation of a crime or emergency situation and can impact our destination’s reputation,” Leacock-Broderick warned as she called for “better response times to all 911 calls, as well as improved communication on tourist-related incidents and emergencies”.

But CITA said it remained optimistic that with proactive dialog and collaboration the police could implement strategies to address the challenges.

Deputy Premier and Tourism Minister Moses Kirkconnell, who also attended the meeting, called it very productive with a candid discussion of coordinated strategies to combat crime and their effective implementation.

“Aggressive marketing and promotions efforts by the ministry, Department of Tourism and tourism-industry partners continue to increase stayover arrivals and we must ensure that the messages being conveyed about Cayman offering a safe and worry-free travel experience hold true,” the minister said.

“Tourism is a discretionary product whereby the majority of tourists will not visit a destination if they feel their safety and well-being may be in jeopardy. Consequently, to maintain the safe, family-friendly atmosphere our Islands are known for, it is vitally important that everything possible is done to deter criminal activity, and ensure that those who do break the law are swiftly brought to justice,” he added, as he offered the ministry’s full support to the RCIPS.

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Category: Tourism

Comments (2)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Very encouraging that the CITA remains optimistic in the RCIPS role to minimise the effects of crime in tourism , meanwhile the resident public for the most part will fall on pessimism , to see much in the way of results outside the tourism sector. Somewhat a clash of emotion on this topic.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I wonder if CITA would care to address and acknowledge their members who have graduated to more sophisticated crime by stealing via unlawful fees and licenses.

    It is one thing to perpetuate the idea of beach scumbags stealing backpacks and applauding increased police presence in tourism zones; however, when a news story comes to light of rental agencies enforcing out of date laws to pad their pockets, nothing is said or done.

    Does CITA care to comment?

    Does the government care to comment?

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