Categorized | National News

Wilchcombe Lashes Out Over Crime

Tourism Minister Obie Wilchcombe said yesterday that Bahamians are hurting their own country when they commit crimes against tourists and says his ministry is now doing damage control.

Reports indicate that a 15-year-old girl was raped on Paradise Island.

The girl was reportedly staying at Comfort Suites when she was sexually assaulted by two men.

One of those men is believed to be an employee of the hotel.

While speaking with reporters yesterday, Minister Wilchcombe said although the Ministry of Tourism has experts all over the world on how to deal with these issues, the problem stems at home.

“The truth is there is an understanding in many of these countries that we come from a country that also has crime and when compared – The Bahamas has no comparison. But we did see what the Americans had to do in terms of Mexico. It’s a very strong warning and in fact I believe they were telling their citizens to be careful not to go to that destination,” he said.

“We don’t want that to happen to The Bahamas. We appreciate that we have some issues that we have to deal with. But the thing is to get the media and everybody involved so that Bahamians understand what they are doing. They’re killing their country. If Bahamians are complaining that they need jobs, help us to create the jobs. Don’t do things that would cause us not to create jobs. I think it’s for Bahamians collectively to begin this massive campaign where we all become voices in the protection of the image of the country and to ensure that we can get this out there to get to their minds before they commit a crime. And we need more presence, we need more people out there to stop people from doing something stupid.”

Minister Wilchcombe said that means more police presence around resorts.

“We’ve got to put some more security in the Ministry of Tourism to ensure that we get people out particularly to these areas just to be browsing around as watchdogs. We have to do all we can in any circumstance and when things become extreme then you have to get extreme in your measures to cause for a reduction and that’s what we need to do right now,” he said.

The tourism minister said he would like the media to pay a more meaningful role in getting the message out for Bahamians to take more pride in their country’s image.

“We welcome people. Celebrities come to our country not only because of the beauty but because of the people and they are never harassed. That’s the Bahamian people. That’s who we are. How do we get back there by getting a message out,” Minister Wilchcombe said.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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