The Soufriere Regional Development Foundation (SRDF) is making a determined attempt to deal with crime against visitors in the community.
Executive director of the foundation, Jimmy Haynes, described the problem as “very serious and frustrating”. He said Soufriere largely depends on the foreign dollar and as a result should not tolerate such criminal activity.
Over the past two months, there have been six incidents of crime against visitors in the community which is of grave concern to the foundation.
According to Haynes, persons in the community know who the culprits are.
“We (community) know who are committing the crimes…We know who burglarised the yachts. We know who put a knife through the tire of a vehicle which a tourist rented. We know who robbed the Still Beach Resort. We know who robbed the gentleman at New Jerusalem, while he tried to defend his visitors…,” Haynes told this reporter in an interview.
Haynes said in order to deal with the problem, the foundation, which has a total of 160 employees, has increased its security personnel to 26 and has placed armed police guards at strategic locations on the beach and Sulphur Springs. He said that security personnel will be given ongoing training, adding that the number will soon be increased.
“We have just trained 27 wardens. We will be hiring between 10 to 11 more wardens soon,” Haynes said.
He added that the foundation will also be boosting up its detection capability by installing electrical cameras at all its sites.
According to Haynes, the police feel that publicising crime is not the best thing for the community, but he feels it’s the best approach.
“We will be speaking out against it….and bring like-minded individuals and organisations together to put forward a plan to deal with the problem,” Haynes said, adding that the situation can be managed.
He said crime in Soufriere has enraged residents, but if the situation is not kept alive by some sensation, the concerns of the public will quickly go away.