President of the Tobago Hotel and Tourism Association (THTA) Chris James said he is hopeful that recent talks with CoP Gary Griffith would yield some positive results.
Speaking with Newsday on Monday, mere days after meeting with Griffith at the Shirvan Road police station, James said the meeting went well and was well attended.
The island has experienced a spate of brazen robberies this year with supermarkets, hotels and mini marts being targeted by bandits.
MI4 security officer Mark Nurse was shot to death in December last year while attempting to pick up the day's sales at Penny Savers Supermarket in Carnbee. Businessmen Donald Parks and Elias Dabourah were also murdered in 2019, and the manager of Jade Monkey in Crown Point was also shot.
“The THTA requested that the bicycle patrol be strengthened, improve security at the port including dogs specifically trained to find guns, bring back the joint task force and more coastline patrols to secure our borders in Tobago,” James said were some of the requests made to Griffith.
The Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce was also present during the meeting and chairman Diane Hadad described it as excellent.
“We had excellent representation and participation. The persons that were there spoke out of their awful experiences with the different robberies that they would have gotten and experienced and we had the commitment, the ear of the Commissioner and his team, and we had the commitment of the Commissioner that there is going to be serious actions taken in terms of preventing any of these things going forward,” she said.
During the meeting, Griffith also answered the many questions posed by the business community and shared with them the initiatives being implemented to deal with the crime issues affecting the island. Chief among his plans is for an arm of the Special Operations Response Team (SORT) to be based in Tobago from March 1 to tackle crime. Griffith assured stakeholder, "The place will be lit up in Tobago. We will be going full throttle after these criminal elements in Tobago."
Griffith also met with Tobago House of Assembly Chief Secretary Kelvin Charles.