Newly appointed chairman of the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA) Roseanne Myers is worried about the increase in gun-related violence on the island.
During a courtesy call on Barbados TODAY, Myers said she was prepared to support the Royal Barbados Police Force (RBPF) in fulfillment of its mandate to protect citizens and visitors.
Myers said crime remained a major concern for the tourism sector, because of its potential to damage one of the main staples of the tourism product’s marketing strategies, which is safety.
“It is worrying because, as a Barbadian, it is not something that we are accustomed to. We do not understand this proliferation of crime and guns. It is not a part of our culture. It has crept in. We don’t want it, we don’t need it, and we need to nip it now because we have wonderful examples in the Caribbean of what it can evolve into,” she said.
Myers pledged that the BHTA would continue to support the RBPF, which, though stretched, was doing a phenomenal job combatting crime on the island.
In fact, the BHTA head said she felt there was room for a greater contribution from the private sector to assist police with resources.
“We will continue to help them in any way that we can because I still have full confidence that they can get on top of the issues, but we have to assist in any way that we can. We are supportive of all of the agencies that are involved with protecting our borders,” she said.
Meanwhile, outgoing BHTA Chief Executive Officer Sue Springer said the problem of poor lighting of some sections of St Lawrence Gap and Speightstown was drawn to the attention of Attorney General Adriel Braithwaite when she met him recently to discuss security issues affecting the sector.
In terms of security-related assistance, Springer said the BHTA recently donated four Segway electronic scooters to the RBPF for patrolling purposes, and was currently working on installing closed-circuit television systems on the west coast, as has already been done in the south of the island.