Letters: Protecting Raro, one big resort

Tuesday January 21, 2020 Published in Letters to the Editor
Letters: Protecting Raro, one big resort

Dear editor,

In the past month there have been four home invasion crimes committed in accommodation properties that l know of, while tourist are sleeping. l am very concerned for our visitors’ safety.

It is an awful feeling for those targeted to wake to find an intruder in their room, especially those with their children sleeping next door. This is not a good impression to give our visitors on this island.

Cook Islands Security was purposely established to protect the accommodation properties and the 24hr patrol presence thus far has helped immensely to deter local criminals targeting our CIS clients.

Still, there are over 350 unprotected holiday properties who are ignoring the potential danger imposed on their oblivious guests by disregarding this serious threat and not providing effective security. All holiday homes should be Tourism Certified also, that includes security or not be able to promote their property.

We need more support from those accommodation providers that are trying to benefit from our presence without contributing. CIS would like to increase its patrol team and increase our presence day and night which comes at a cost to the business – one we cannot afford without further support.

It is important for your security provider to have an effective presence to protect its clients. It is very frustrating that only a small percentage of businesses are backing our present 24-hour accommodation operation, instead they take their chances.

*Read more: * ‘We feel violated’

 

To me they should not rely on others to pay for this security presence to avoid chipping in and then wonder why they are targeted and send their guests home with a negative view of Rarotonga.

The township had a significant crime problem six months ago, so l rallied up the businesses to develop a CIS town patrol operation and now we have very little trouble.

Our visitors will always be an easy target because, like many, are complacent on holiday and feel they are safe at all times. It is the accommodation provider’s duty of care to ensure their guests are safe.

CIS put up hidden cameras at our popular tourist swimming spots because their cars and bikes were an easy target to steal from. Since then, there have been no reported incidences of theft at these locations.

It is now time for all accommodation businesses to wake up and at least have some security service to their properties. Having so many unprotected properties keeps these thugs in business and CIS clients at risk. In the last year CIS has had only eight incidences reported to police regarding our clients and all solved with police help.

We are on a mission to catch our latest offenders who stole money from a client last weekend as they slept. They will be caught as the others before them have been, but the temptation must stop. This will only occur if we all work together in preventing this crime and our courts implement harsher sentences, no matter their age.

Rarotonga is one big resort and security to protect our major income is paramount in this uncertain environment. CIS is only here to help!

-       Chris Denny

Cook Islands Security

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