Prime Minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines Dr Ralph Gonsalves says measures are being taken to address the upsurge in yacht burglaries in Bequia and other parts of the country but has declined to disclose the details of some of those tactics.
He said patrols have been increased as part of “a very concerted attempt” to arrest those crimes.
Caribbean Safety and Security Net, which tracks maritime safety in the region, has reported a number of these crimes in St Vincent and the Grenadines.
During a recent sitting of Parliament, Opposition Leader Godwin Friday, who is MP for the Northern Grenadines where Bequia is located, reported a recent spate of yacht break-ins in Admiralty Bay and said there have also been attacks on yachts in harbours and bays throughout the country.
Gonsalves, who is also Minister of National Security, Legal Affairs and Information, acknowledged the recent upsurge in break-ins on yachts.
He said the police and Coast Guard have increased patrols on land and on sea.
“And in the case of Bequia, for instance, the Deputy Director of Grenadines Affairs has vacated his particular office to the Coast Guard and he’s been housed elsewhere so that we can better accommodate the base in Bequia for the Coast Guard officers,” Gonsalves said.
He said that in St. Vincent, there are enhanced patrols in the Young Island area, where a lot of yachts dock.
“I’m giving by way of examples, but throughout all the areas in the country there are some other things which have been done which I wouldn’t speak about, but to give the House and to give the general public [the assurance] that there is a very concerted attempt to reduce and, as far as is humanly practicable, to stamp out this particular species of criminal behaviour,” the Prime Minister said.
Friday, in a supplementary question, asked what specific measures were being taken to address the spike in yacht burglaries in Admiralty Bay and Bequia.
Gonsalves responded: “…What I’ve just outlined: the increased surveillance and also the strengthening of the base in Bequia – and the Coast Guard, I’ve been advised, have moved into the base. There are other measures which are being taken, which I’m not going to speak about, not only for there but for other places.” (Source Loop)