According to the THA, on Sunday last, President George Maxwell Richards declared the state of emergency for 15 days which according to Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, is part of a plan to tackle acts of lawlessness.
The Government, the THA said, has highlighted a number of “hot spots” where pockets of criminal activity take place in some areas of Trinidad and their main focus is the reduction or eradication of such activities. However, the THA said, it is important to note that the island of Tobago is not one of the areas affected by the curfew.
The THA according to the release, maintains regular collaborative dialogue with the police service and Ministry of National Security as well as with the various sectors that touch the tourism industry in an attempt to focus on strategies that ensure the safety and security of residents on the island, as well as its guests.
Arising out of this have been increased joint police/army patrols around the island, the introduction of CCTVs at key locations in Tobago, beach patrols, increased security at the ANR Robinson International Airport and the sea port, as well as improved community education on crime prevention and security.
Local authorities on the island have been working diligently to reduce the incidences of crime in Tobago and this is evidenced by the statistics which show that there was a reduction of 18 percent in serious crimes between 2008 and 2010.
Crimes against visitors to the island have also dramatically reduced by 300 percent from 95 in 2008 to 23 in 2010. For the first six months of 2011, the THA said, the numbers have again trended downward, with 15 crimes against visitors being reported.
Secretary of Tourism and Transportation, Assemblyman Oswald Williams noted: “The Tobago House of Assembly will continue to work with the protective services and all of its stakeholders to jealously guard its position as a safe and secure destination.”
He added, “With the island experiencing increases in both international and domestic arrivals in May and June compared to the same period in 2010, it is important that we are able to maintain this as a long-term trend. The only way that we can overcome the challenge that this new situation presents is to ensure that we continue to deliver a quality experience to our guests in a welcoming environment.”
All international flights into and out of Tobago have maintained their schedules: Virgin Atlantic, British Airways and Monarch from Gatwick, London, Condor from Frankfurt, Germany and Caribbean Airlines from New York (JFK).
Caribbean Airlines has also made no changes to its domestic flight schedule between Trinidad and Tobago. The Inter-Island ferry service has, however, made some adjustments to the schedule of one of the fast ferries, the TT Express. Information can be found on the Tobago website (http://www.visittobago.gov.tt/getting-here/island-ferry/island-ferry).