Police officers on beach patrol have played a huge role in helping to reduce the number of crimes against visitors to the island, according to Commissioner of Police Tyrone Griffith.
And the police chief was on hand to heap praise on his officers as they received new beach patrol uniforms courtesy of the Barbados Hotel & Tourism Association at the Richard Haynes Boardwalk at Hastings.
Surrounded by police high command officers, Commissioner Griffith said that since 2014 there had been a significant decrease in visitor crimes.
In 2014, when 1.2 million visitors visited the island, 295 crimes against tourists had been recorded, he said
Last year, when 1.45 million tourists came, only 215 visitor crimes were recorded, he added.
Griffith said: “I think that is a tribute to the hard working men and women on the beach patrols…they have ensured that our locals and tourists alike are safe on our beaches.
“I want to thank the BHTA for contributing the uniforms.
“I’m satisfied that the BHTA has really taken ownership of the tourism product along with the TDC [Tourism Development Corporation] and others and it is for that reason they find it so easy to support law enforcement in their exercise as they seek to make Barbados a safer place for visitors and us alike.”
Twenty-two special constables islandwide are to benefit from the initiative.
In brief remarks, BHTA chief executive Senator Rudy Grant pledged the association’s continued support to the Royal Barbados Police Force.
But he said it was not only up to the police to ensure Barbados remained a safe place to live.
He said: “The issue of safety and security is not simply a matter for the police, but it also has to be a matter of concern for all Barbadians.
“Therefore it means that all Barbadians must be prepared to assist the police in the execution of their duties and be willing to assist the police in any way that is possible.
“And I want to take this opportunity to encourage Barbadian companies and other entities to assist the police and to give meaningful and tangible support to the police.
“We are extremely happy to be here in support of the police once again and to be involved in the sponsorship of this new beach uniform.
“We believe by partnering with the police, we will continue to ensure that that very important brand element of safety and security is protected.”