Criminals Target Cruisers in Trinidad and Tobago

From dinghy theft to armed robbery, crime is on the rise in the southern Caribbean nation.

In Trinidad and Tobago, cruisers are finding themselves on the losing end of the country's rising crime rate. So far in 2006, cruisers have been victimized by crimes ranging from dinghy theft to armed robbery.

What's worse, the nation's criminals are becoming more brazen, committing crimes in broad daylight with no apparent consequences. In August, one cruiser was robbed at gunpoint at 5 p.m. while walking between marinas; four cruisers were robbed at gunpoint at 10 a.m. on a minibus right after leaving an ATM, according to noonsite.com. In a recent budget speech excerpted on trinidadexpress.com, Prime Minister Patrick Manning stated that crime is "the most fundamental threat to the economic and social development of our country."

In response to the crimes, cruisers have contacted the U.S., Canadian, British, and German embassies for help. Furthermore, Yacht Sailing Association of Trinidad and Tobago (YSATT)-a business advocacy group- as well as local business owners and managers have taken steps to improve the situation, increasing security personnel on marina property, adding security equipment, revising security procedures, and increasing coast guard patrols.

For more details contact www.caribcruisers.com, or radio the The Caribbean Safety and Security Net on SSB channel 8104.0 Khz.