Police to step up security in Chateaubelair
January 11, 2008
Police to step up security in Chateaubelair

A spate of yacht robberies in Chateaubelair has caused the authorities to increase the number of law enforcement officers in the area.{{more}}

Between December 10th 2007 and Boxing Day, five yachts were known to have been robbed by masked men armed with knives, cutlasses and, in some cases, guns.

Asa Gifvert, crewmember of the yacht Sway, told SEARCHLIGHT that on December 21st, around 1:20 am, three men, two of whom were wearing masks, armed with a knife, a cutlass and a gun, boarded their vessel and robbed them.

Gifvert said “I realize the robbers were once sweet and innocent, once little toddlers, but all I could see as I woke up was their voice of death, if I do not comply, threats of killing someone if we do not give our money and I fail to see who they once were.” They took my innocence and I want it back, she further stated.

Gifvert said that the coast guard came after they called, but they opted to sail to St Lucia instead of remaining to pursue the matter. Gifvert said that she plans to send out e-mails warning other yachts about her experience in Chateaubelair.

In response to these robberies, area representative Dr Jerrol Thompson held several meetings with stakeholders of the tourism industry in the area and with the Minister of Tourism along with the top brass of the police force. Thompson said a plan of action will be implemented, which includes sensitizing the community about the importance if the yachting industry through the schools and churches.

Police Commissioner Keith Miller told SEARCHLIGHT that although plans were already in place to install a Rapid Response Unit in Chateaubelair, a three-member Criminal Investigation Department (CID) unit will also be stationed in the area and there will also be increased water patrols by the coast guard. (AC)