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Tobago: Local Reaction to Latest Crime Against Yachts

By Sue Richards last modified Sep 16, 2011 09:34 PM

Published: 2011-09-16 21:34:55
Topics: Piracy Reports 2011
Countries: Trinidad & Tobago

This press release was sent to us by Store Bay Marine Services, Tobago, following meetings with the Head of the Tobago Police Force and Dr Delmon Baker - the MP for Tobago West - regarding the recent thefts from yachts in Tobago.

16th September 2011

The head of the Tobago Police Service Assistant Commissioner Edwards has announced that he is in discussions with the Tobago Coastguard to increase protection and support for visiting yachts to the island. He wishes to introduce a vessel reporting system to be administered by the Coastguard.

It comes after two incidents in the last month.

First Incident
At the end of August two American-registered yachts were broken into at Plymouth during daylight hours. The perpetrator made off with cash from one yacht, which was unlocked. The other yacht was riffled through but nothing was taken. No one was on board at the time of the break-in but the incident was witnessed by several locals who did nothing to stop the crime.

Second Incident
The second incident happened at Englishman's Bay last week, where an intruder armed with a knife, boarded an American-registered yacht at night. The skipper of the vessel struggled with the intruder who jumped overboard with two mobile phones. The intruder was arrested by police within 24 hours of the incident happening.

Assistant Commissioner Edwards says he wants to work with the Tobago Coastguard to minimise these incidents, which are rare in Tobago. He says both these cases are still actively being investigated. He says, “These incidents never die and we ruthlessly pursue them, particularly where visitors are involved.”

The MP for Tobago West, Dr Delmon Baker is also following up on both these incidents, working closely with representatives in Tobago's yachting sector. He says, “The yachting industry is important to Tobago's economic and cultural development and as such cruisers are always welcome wholeheartedly. I am shocked and disgusted that these incidents have even happened in Tobago which has an unblemished reputation as a safe haven for yachts. “Those responsible should be brought to justice swiftly and as such I am personally interested in following up these cases. It is vital that incidents like this are not repeated in the future. The Government here is working hard to combat crime and increase conviction rates for all offences. New legislation is currently being discussed which will mean witnesses no longer have to give evidence in person in court. Instead this can be done via video link. This should mean conviction rates for crimes involving visitors will improve. It is a matter I take very seriously.”

Dr Baker will continue his discourse with the Tobago House of Assembly and the Ministry of National Security to stress the importance of tourism to Tobago's overall economic development and seek to ensure that action to take to maintain the safe and welcoming atmosphere that characterises the island.

For more information contact John Stickland at Store Bay Marine Services. Phone: (+1) 868 390 5408 or email john@sbms.co.tt.

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