PRESIDENT of the San Fernando Business Association (SFBA) Daphne Bartlett is calling on Minister of National Security Edmund Dillon to re-introduce joint police/army patrols in San Fernando.
“There are too many robberies taking place in the city,” Bartlett told a meeting of San Fernando business people on Saturday which was attended by police officers and representative of the city corporation in the Arcade Food Court.
Bartlett recalled that years ago, the SFBA had appealed to former prime ministers and ministers of national security to provide joint police/army in the city.
“It is no longer about police patrol during the peak season but throughout the year,” Bartlett said, noting that the joint police/army patrol did a great job during last year’s Christmas season. “It is clear that as time goes by the bandits are finding new ways to break into the stores an this is why there is need to be better policing in the city,” Bartlett said.
Commenting on the recent robbery at RT Jewellers on High Street in which bandits broke glass cases and snatched jewelry, then ran across the busy High Street and escaped, Bartlett said, “On the topic of securing our business places, RT Jewelers had the best camera system as well a guard posted at the door.”
Most of business owners in the city of San Fernando are well-equipped to deal with the issue of theft and robbery, she added.
However, she said that the time has come when the business owners have to work alongside the police and the city corporation, to protect their investment and the shopping public.
Bartlett went on to say that the same day RT Jewelers store was robbed, Anand Jewelers in Penal was also robbed. She said, “The strange thing is that the police caught the bandits but the bags they carried did not have any of the jewelry from RT Jewelers. The bandits are using new methods in which to steal from these shops and get away with it.”
Deputy mayor Vydia Mungal-Bissessar said that the former mayor and now Minister of Local Government Kazim Hosein is currently working along with mayor Regrello to provide better security system in the city. “They were working towards installing state-of-the-art CCTV cameras at strategic locations in San Fernando,” Mungal-Bissessar said, adding that it was costing quite a lot and had to be placed on the back burner.
Bartlett also called for a police post at King’s Wharf saying that a lot of illegal activities take place during the night.
Those who break the law, she said, know where it is safe to operate. Mungal-Bissessar responded that Regrello was currently engaged in talks to move the Municipal Police to King’s Wharf.