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Maritime Consultant Cuthbert Didier has expressed concern over attacks on locals and visitors, warning that the Island is in danger of losing out.
Didier spoke amid a violent crime wave and attacks on visitors, including yacht people.
“It is rather unfortunate that we have had this crime wave in which a lot of nationals have lost their lives and I want to send condolences to those families,” he stated.
The Maritime Consultant said it was essential to target the hotspots.
Regarding the yachting sector, which bandits have been targetting, Didier singled out Soufriere and Malgretoute while calling on people in Soufriere to work with law enforcement, as attacks on visitors could negatively impact the livelihood of locals.
“We need to grapple with the problem and arrest it and make sure that all persons on this Island, whether nationals or visitors can feel safe,” he told St Lucia Times.
“There needs to be a lot more attention to this area because if we are not careful, we are going to lose our competitive edge to these violent attacks,” Didier explained.
Earlier this week, the media in Martinique reported that bandits in Saint Lucia attacked tourists and a Polish skipper aboard a French vessel on Saturday night.
According to reports, the attack took place in Soufriere.
Armed with sharp objects, the bandits relieved their victims of items, including mobile telephones, RCI.FM said.
It was one of several attacks against yacht people reported this year.
“My immediate concern is that we in Saint Lucia need to react and put a handle on this immediately,” Maritime Consultant Cuthbert Didier told St. Lucia Times.
Didier noted that Soufriere and the Soufriere Marine Management Area had been the locations of ongoing bandit attacks.
“We need to do all within our power, especially the community of Soufriere, to react and at least show the yachting community regionally and internationally that we are dealing with the issue,” he observed.