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Caribbean, Bequia: Coastguard now patrolling at night

By Sue Richards last modified Nov 23, 2011 03:18 PM

Published: 2011-11-23 15:18:40
Topics: Piracy & Security
Countries: St Vincent & the Grenadines

As reported today by I-Witness News

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent – The local Coast Guard last week begun nightly patrols in Bequia in response to a recent spate of yacht burglaries there, Tourism Minister Saboto Caesar told Parliament yesterday.

Caesar said these patrols are expected to continue and that Cabinet has approved the use of three confiscated vessels to be used in the fight against crime. The vessels are being refurbished and one will be deployed to Bequia within two weeks, Caesar said.

In addition, two yacht operators will donate to the local Coast Guard a vessel to be used to patrol in and around the harbour in Bequia.

Caesar said that the crime-fighting efforts at sea are being complemented by increased police presence on land. There has been strategic changes in police personnel on the Northern Grenadine island and a regular stop and search system has been instituted. Efforts are also underway to establish a water taxi association and a special committee has been formed in that regard.

Further, a study is being conducted to explore the feasibility of having cameras installed in certain crime-prone locations on Bequia.

He noted that yacht visits to this country were up 7.4 per cent between January and September this year, compared to the same period last year.