There has been an increase in crime in Tobago, and the launch of the 21st century policing initiative has come at the right time. This from Senior Superintendent of Police Peter Reyes as he spoke during the launch of the initiative in Tobago.
Tobago is the third division in which the initiative has been introduced. According to Senior Superintendent Peter Reyes, there was a decrease in crime of 33.7% compared to last year for the month of January. However, in February there was an increase noting that this trend needs to change.
"For the comparative period in February 2012, there have been 77 serious crimes, 30property crimes, 22 general larcenies, and 13 robberies, an increase ladies and gentlemen, of 12%. It means therefore, we have an increase in crime," Senior Superintendent Peter Reyes said.
Senior Superintendent Reyes stressed, the symptoms of crime should not continue to undermine the social and economic stability of Tobago, as the island needs to be crime free, with 100% zero tolerance.
Deputy Commissioner of Police Jack Ewatski said with the launch of the 21st policing initiative, there needs to be the enforcement of the traffic laws.
"Too many in the country lose their lives needlessly as a result of road traffic accidents, and an aggressive enforcement activity by police is required," Ewatski said.
DCP Ewatski said the fact that the Tobago economy is heavily dependent on tourism was taken into consideration, in implementing the new initiative in Tobago. The 21st century initiative was introduced into Tobago after consultation with various stakeholders in Tobago.
"We have developed the tourism oriented policing unit, that will deal specifically with issues of Tourism safety and working very closely with all our stakeholders in the hotel and tourism industry, with our partners in the protective services in Tobago," Ewatski said.
During the launch WPC Natalie Denoon Cooke and Officer Dexter Miller, were both elevated to the position of Corporals.
At this time there is a total of twenty police vehicles throughout Tobago, two of which were deployed on Monday. Deputy Commissioner of Police Jack Ewatski assured residents of Tobago should now be adequately served when calls are made for assistance. The victim support program has also been enhanced, with a social worker on board. Ewatski remains confident this model will work for Tobago.