In a rare, if not unprecedented move, the Royal Barbados Police Force (RBPF) today addressed a meeting of high-level tourism authorities from across Latin America and the Caribbean to assure them that Barbados is safe.
Amid the recent upsurge in crime, Inspector Barry Hunte sought to put dignitaries and delegates gathered at the Hilton Barbados Resort for the 22nd Inter-American Congress of Ministers and High- Level Authorities of Tourism at ease.
In a speech that was not on the agenda of the two-day meeting, the senior officer offered some assurance but also advised the visiting officials to take some responsibility for their safety.
“I speak on behalf of the Royal Barbados Police Force and give you the assurance that, not only because tourism is a central economic driver for our economy and our country like the rest of your countries, we give paramount importance to providing a safe and secure environment for all who visit our shores from time to time,” he said.
“That said, we would want to impress upon you that, at all material times, it is important that you remain situationally aware of whatever environment you are in, either here at the hotel conducting your business or while going about public spaces. Be assured that we, members of the Royal Barbados Police Force working in harmony with . . . stakeholders at the national level as well as private security providers, will leave no stone unturned to provide the environment that you can go about enjoying as you move about Barbados,” Hunte added.
He also told the delegates that while out on their own, or in groups, they could look out for members of the RBPF if they felt any discomfort or had any or concerns, as he brought a uniformed police officer to demonstrate how lawmen could be identified.
“I give you the assurance that while you are here in Barbados, yours will be a safe, enjoyable and secure stay,” the Inspector told the regional officials.
Head of security at Hilton, Ancille Beckles also took to the platform and echoed Hunte’s reassurance to the delegates.
He also cautioned them to be aware of their surroundings wherever they went and to secure their valuables and other personal effects.