The President of the Saint Lucia Craft and Dry Goods Vendors Association has expressed concern over attacks on tourists and has called on the Police Commissioner to address the situation urgently.
“We have had a number of situations where tourists have been robbed and people grab their items from them,” Peter ‘Ras Ipa’ Isaac told reporters on Thursday.
“I think the Commissioner should look deeply into that,” Isaac asserted.
“We have had something you call the Rangers or the Rapid Response. Now in the past, people have said they have done a phenomenal job in terms of protecting that particular industry which we consider to be the pillar of our economy,” the Vendors Association President recalled.
“And the other thing that they can probably look into as well is the whole question of bringing in these reserve police officers who already have some level of training, ” Isaac said.
Isaac said that a budget allocation could be made so those officers could possibly serve for a six-month period during which the tourism industry is ‘alive and well’.
He indicated that by this means, there could be some relief from people who are looking for opportunities to grab items from visitors.
According to Isaac, on Wednesday on Jeremie Street, someone grabbed a gold chain from an English visitor.
He said the visitor fell when the perpetrator grabbed the chain, and the tourist sustained some bruises.
“There were not many officers present at the time. The other thing I notice is the officers who are traversing the City or patrolling the City with bicycles, I find the strategy is a bit questionable. All of them are always together. If you have ten of them, the ten of them are together. I don’t know if that is the correct strategy,” Isaac told reporters.
He said the officers needed to spread out so that they could signal each other for expeditious mutual assistance in the event of an incident.