The Tobago House of Assembly (THA) has condemned the robbery and sexual assault of two female British tourists on Monday.
In a press release on Tuesday, THA Chief Secretary Kelvin Charles expressed condolences to the victims and their families as he expressed displeasure over the most recent attack on tourists visiting the island.
“I am deeply saddened as well as annoyed by these attacks, Having recently returned from a mission trip to Germany to promote Tobago’s tourism product, it is seriously disheartening to return to this distasteful news,” Charles said.
The statement called on residents of Tobago to vigilant and aware of their surroundings. It also called on people to take personal responsibility in the fight against crime and the promotion of the island’s tourism industry.
According to reports, the attack took place at Grafton Beach, Black Rock, around 1.30 am, on Monday.
They were reportedly walking on the beach when they were attacked by an armed man.
Shortly after they reported the incident to police, a team of detectives led by Sgt Piggott arrested a 34-year-old suspect from Young Street, Canaan. The suspect remained in police custody up to late yesterday and is expected to be charged when police complete their investigation.
The attack came hours before the T&T Police Service (TTPS) opened the new Shirvan Road Police Station. The station, located relatively near to the popular beach where the attack occurred, is expected to house several specialist policing units including the newly-formed Emergency Response Patrol (ERP).
The attack is just one of several incidents against tourists, this year.
On February 4, Roderick Mac Mullin, 63, and his 65-year-old wife Neena, of New Brunswick, Canada, were sunbathing on Grafton Beach when they were beaten and robbed of a small quantity of cash, a cellphone and two credit cards. Two men were held for that attack.
Three days later, Mark Petherick, 66, and his wife Rosemary were robbed of TT$101, US $60 and a camera, while walking on a beach in Arnos Vale.
In a travel advisory issued on February 25, which is still active, the United Kingdom advised its citizens to be cautious when visiting T&T during the Carnival season.
“Most visits to Tobago are trouble-free, but there have been two recent incidents involving tourists (including British nationals) being robbed. Incidents of violent crime in Tobago are rare. The inability of the authorities to catch and prosecute offenders remains a concern,” the advisory stated.