Begging The Police To Do The Job They Should Have Already Been Doing…
The headline in the Barbados Advocate doesn’t put it quite that way. It throws a positive spin on the story by announcing “Tourism Officials, Police To Meet“.
Go ahead and read the story at the Advocate. Go ahead… take a minute. We’ll wait. If the story has been removed at the Barbados Advocate (they do that ya know) you can read it at the end of this page.
Back now? Ok, good.
Here’s what we got from the story without even going to our police source…
1/ There is no established regular joint committee and action plan between the police and the most important foundation of our economy: the tourism industry. The question occurs to us: “What the hell have the police and the BHTA been doing for the past ten years? Why wasn’t this done a decade ago?”
2/ The BHTA throws a bone to the existing “Liaison Officer” Inspector Jeffrey Howell, who, they say, “has done an outstanding job, keeping the lines of communication open”…
Firstly, communication “lines open” is a euphemism for “no work was ever done but the police inspector is available to whine to if you have five minutes and don’t expect any action more than talking.”
Secondly, if things are so wonderful with the “lines of communication”, why is the tourism industry begging to meet with the Commissioner? Answer… they hope to have the police actually do something.
3/ The Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association are worried sick about specific recent incidents and crime in general. They went to the police to ask for a meeting as a first step to waking the police up and perhaps getting some action.
4/ No date has been set for a meeting, but the BHTA has made the announcement because now the Police Commissioner will at least have to meet with the industry – or look like a total idiot. Like we said, why hasn’t Commissioner Dottin been meeting regularly – say quarterly – with the tourism industry for many years?
5/ The Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association members are willing to pay money to get the police to do their job. Hey, I guess they figure they have to sweeten the pot to get the Commissioner to “consent to meet”. Have you ever heard such fawning crawl-on-the-belly language before? Like we said, the Commissioner of Police and the BHTA should have been holding regular high-level meetings for years.
Reminder to Commissioner Dottin: tourism is only about 75% of the whole economy, you know!
6/ The recent “attack on tourists that shall only be whispered about with no details given in the local media”* upset the British High Commission so much that Police Commissioner Dottin met with the Brits to “allay their fears”. Apparently only one British newspaper carried the story of the attack and the BHTA considers that to be a good thing.
7/ The Executive President of the BHTA, Sue Springer, is so well served by those “open lines of communication” with the police that she apparently doesn’t know if the police and the Barbados Defense Force are still conducting joint patrols in high-crime areas.
… OR Ms. Springer knows that the patrols have been discontinued and she wants them reinstated without embarrassing the police.
Yup… typical Bajan politics at play here: HUGE NEWS STORY: PEOPLE GONNA MEET TO TALK!!!!
* For those who might be interested, a Safari tour vehicle with cruise ship passengers was ambushed by gunmen last week. Shots fired. Running shoot-out with the police and nobody arrested yet that we’ve read about in the news media. Anyone have any further details, sing out!
Here is a copy of the article from the Barbados Advocate…
TOURISM OFFICIALS, POLICE TO MEET
Web Posted – Fri Feb 08 2008
Tourism stakeholders will be meeting with law enforcement officials in the very near future to discuss the crime situation and how it may be affecting the tourism industry.
Word of this came from Alvin Jemmott, president of the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA), during a breakfast meeting at the Divi Southwinds Beach Resort yesterday morning.
Jemmott said that during the last quarterly meeting of the BHTA, they had indicated that they would welcome dialogue with the police on aspects of crime, and are therefore quite pleased that they have the assurance from the Commissioner of Police that as early as next week they will begin to discuss the crime situation.
Crime is not a good thing for a tourism destination. One act of crime within a tourism destination is one too many and we are very pleased that the Commissioner of Police has consented to meet with us and discuss various aspects of crime and fashion responses and solutions to any potential crime situations that we may be faced with within the tourism industry and here on the island, Jemmott said.
He continued: In my last quarterly report, I said that we were very, very willing to put our money where our mouth was.
The BHTA president said that they are willing to do what it takes, financial or otherwise to address any situations of crime.
If it is a matter of finding or fashioning some form of financial support or getting some form of a unit together I think we are very interested in looking at it and discussing ways of financing any initiative that would help to mitigate crime, he said.
He added that while the meeting with the top cop is welcomed, they are quite pleased with the collaboration that they have had from Liaison Officer, Inspector Jeffrey Howell, who he contended, has done an outstanding job, keeping the lines of communication open.
Meanwhile, responding to a question regarding a recent attack on some visitors, Executive President of the BHTA, Sue Springer said th at as far as she knew only one newspaper in the United Kingdom had carried an article on the incident. She added that she was also aware of a meeting with the Commissioner of Police and the British High Commission directly after the incident to allay their fears.
We had issues a few years ago and immediately the Commissioner of Police put into effect the patrols between the Barbados Defence Force and the Police in the rural areas, in areas that had sightseeing sites for the tourists. We are loo king to make sure that that is still happening, which I believe it is, she said. (JR)