Amidst concerns about safety of visitors in St Lawrence Gap have come promises of increased security for the area considered “the heart of tourism” on the South Coast.
Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy assured today that more closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras and improved lighting were on the cards.
He acknowledged today that the existing cameras didn’t cover enough ground.
“Barbados Tourism Investment Inc. (BTII) will also be working in continuing the [installation] of the CCTVs for security reasons as well. The Gap is covered by a network of these cameras, but it is felt that between some increased lighting and some increased cameras we can even improve that,” Sealy said after touring the refurbished boardwalk at the entrance of the popular entertainment area this morning.
Saying that Barbados was a low-crime destination, Sealy said he wanted to make sure that the occasional violent incidents could be resolved quickly.
The cameras, he said, would assist police officers in speedily finding culprits and solving crimes that occurred in the popular entertainment area in the island’s tourist belt.
“We need to equip the Royal Barbados Police Force with the capacity to do such and we are working along with them as well. So we are continuing to focus on all of these elements to see to it that we can keep tourism on the path to recovery and of course set the base for future growth,” the minister said.
His disclosure came even as Christ Church South MP John Boyce called on the authorities to immediately address the issue of lighting in the area.
Boyce, who accompanied Sealy on the tour along with officials from the BTII, the Barbados Hotel & Tourism Authority, as well as members of the Royal Barbados Police Force, had made a direct appeal for improvement urgently.
“This is one area where we believe an immediate impact could be made, and I will certainly be chatting with the team at the BTI and the Ministry of Transport and Works,” he said, even as he thanked police for working to ensure crime is “kept at a controlled level”.
Meantime, Sealy has alluded to further upgrades at the other end of St Lawrence Gap that would see a transformation of the Dover Market.
“That project will be a little larger. . . . We are also happy to say that Virgin Atlantic, our partners, they are going to be working with us and they are going to have a kiosk in the Dover Market as well. So we anticipate good things happening on that end of The Gap as well,” he said.
“We are also hoping that the same effective way that the team has addressed the boardwalk, they will address the Dover project as well.”