Ramdial: Crime surge could hurt carnival tourism

Ramdial, in a media statement yesterday, said a recent spike in the crime on Trinidad’s sister isle, including three murders in the past week, could be picked up internationally and lead to visitors being discouraged during that crucial season.

“Past spikes in crime have resulted in international travel advisory warnings being issued against Trinidad and Tobago by countries such as the United States, Canada and the UK which are major sources of visitors to our islands,” Ramdial stated.

“With the upcoming Carnival season, negative travel advisories would severely affect our national festival celebrations which are heavily dependent on the annual tourist influx to participate in the event.”

Ramdial, who this month demitted office as a Minister in the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources under the People’s Partnership, stated that a notable reduction in crime had been realised under that government.

Ramdial said permanent secretary in the Ministry of National Security, Carl Francis, announced in 2014 that there was a 39 per cent reduction in serious crimes in Tobago and a 69 per cent drop in crimes against tourists.

A main contributor to this drop was the push by the PP government to increase camera surveillance on the island by almost 200 per cent in 2012 from the 69 cameras installed in 2009, Ramdial said.

“As MP for Couva North I would like to appeal to Minister of National Security, Edmund Dillon to urgently address national concerns about the recent rise in crime in both our islands. I urge him to use the existing crime fighting technologies and capabilities put in place by the PPG in Tobago and I also appeal to Minister of Tourism, Shamfa Cudjoe to partner with hoteliers and those involved in the tourism industry, so that a collaborative effort with National Security can be made to curb crime in Tobago”, Ramdial said.

This is Ramdial’s second appeal to Dillon to act quickly on crime, following what she had said was a sudden and dramatic increase in crime in her constituency in the week that followed the September 7 general elections.


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