Two major high traffic spots in Barbados are being targeted for upgraded security as local law enforcement officials continue to adopt a variety of measures to combat a rising spate of crime.
The well known entertainment strip at St Lawrence Gap, Christ Church frequented by tourists and Barbadians alike especially on weekends and the bustling Holetown in the northern St James district are to benefit from greater security attention.
Police tourism officer Inspector Pearson McConney says this upgrade will include improvement to lighting and installation of the long-mooted CCTV technology.
Describing the lighting in ‘The Gap’ as poor and a threat to the security of residents and visitors, Inspector McConney called on the Barbados Light & Power Company Limited (BL&P) to work with the constabulary to improve this aspect in both Holetown and St Lawrence.
The police inspector was one of three special presenters at the annual general meeting of the Tourism Development Corporation (TDC) held this morning at the Accra Beach Hotel Resort.
The police tourism officer told the AGM that they recently conducted two night tours of The Gap with a team from the BL&P, Police Crime Prevention, a representative of the TDC and the Government Electrical Engineering Department (GEED).
“We are begging…we are asking the people from BL&P to come onboard. We are asking them to help us change the lighting in the Holetown area. They have promised us that by weekend they would start the project,” Inspector McConney said.
The law enforcement officer also revealed that the Royal Barbados Police Force (RBPF) recently received funding from the TDC to fund the CCTV project on the west coast. He explained that although the original installation start point for the cameras from Black Rock has been put on hold for now because of an estimated shortfall of about $100,000, he expects resolution in this matter shortly.
Work should be started by early December, he said. “We wanted to go from Black Rock and if possible, to Speightstown. We may not be able to because of the cost of the cameras. We also have to do some tree-trimming for line-of-sight,” Inspector McConney added.
He also urged property owners, particularly those on the south and west coasts to assist the police’s efforts by installing their own CCTV cameras, which would help to make the island safer and more secure.
“We had a project that was funded by the TDC in the Carlisle Bay area. I am not going to go into certain things, but I know last year it came in extremely handy for us in some of our investigations. It has helped us even during the Crop Over period because you know that area is a key area for the Foreday Mornin’ [jam],” the police inspector stated.
Turning his focus specifically to St Lawrence Gap, Inspector McConney said upgraded lighting has started to be installed with between 15 and 20 lights already installed.
“If you check from the bottom of St Lawrence Gap to Luigis, there are about 55 lights. Half of them are not working and half need cleaning. There are areas up there that are extremely dark…the back of Divi [Hotel] where we are hoping to put a 100-watt light there to help us,” he told today’s TDC meeting.
Inspector McConney also referred to two public phones at The Gap which he noted are not working but which can facilitate criminal activity.
“People can hide in or behind them and we want them removed,” he added.
He placed the TDC on notice that the RBPF will soon be presenting additional proposals for further assistance in the coming financial year.
Inspector McConney said Police Commissioner Tyrone Griffith will shortly be giving more details of beefed up security during the Independence and Christmas seasons, but noted that increased police presence will shortly be evident across the island, particularly in the commercial districts.