Opposition Leader Dr Godwin Friday speaking on the assult and the act of robbery carried out on a passaenger from the MV Britannia which docked in Kingstown on Wednesday, said, the matter is one of serious concern for the country’s tourism industry, law enforcement and citizens.
Friday who was speaking Nice Radio said it is very easy for news like this to fly around the place giving us a bad name.
“ What I have been advocationg on radio and to persons I have been speaking with, is for the authorties to responed to show those persons who were affected and the cruise operators that we take this matter very seriously in St Vincnet, and would do whatever is necessary to bring the culprit to justice”.
Friday further stated that security should be beefed up in Kingstown so that such incident would not occur again
“ This is what I believe the tour operators and the persons on the ship would respond positively to”.
Friday said the damage has already happened and there would be a fallout from it, However, he said we must mitigate against further damage, by responding immediately and comprehensively, by being persuasive to those persons who were affected.
“ We need to show them that we are doing everything humanly possible and that there is improved security with more visible police presence on the ground”.
The Opposition leader said persons who commit such offences should be given no space to operate and to escape justice.
“ The harm that is committed is really disproportionate to whatever they think they are getting out of this, to rob somebody of a gold chain and jepordise the calls from this vessel and other ships, affecting other people’s lively hood is very selfish, calcous and should not be tolerated”.
Friday noted that the authorities must take some responsibility because they have to do a lot more to ensure security around Kingstown.
“ We have a large ship like britania with over 4000 passengers and a crew of 1700, when they come here we must be sure there is a difference as to how we approach security in Kingstown, to give them the assurance that we welcome them, please that they are here, we know they could have gone somewhere else, so we want to show our appreciation for that, by ensuring they have a safe and enjoyable visit to St Vincent”.
Friday said he hopes this would not discourage any of the other cruise ships scheduled to come here, and more so the Britannia, which he understands has numerous calls this season.