Following last week's killing of a cruise passenger, the United States Virgin Islands say they are making strides to make the island safer for tourists. The police on the island are increasing their foot patrols across the island to stem violence from occuring.
Police commissioner Novelle Francis issued a statement regarding the measures the police are taking, "In response to the tragic incident at Coki Point on July 12, the (Virgin Islands police department) has quickly augmented its efforts to increase police officer presence on the streets and patrol specific areas visited most often by tourists, including but not limited to cruise ports, beaches, historical attractions, hotels and popular sightseeing areas".
The increased measures to combat violence include
- Increased mobile patrols of other areas with high visitor traffic
- The upgrading of security surveillance apparatus across the territory, including the addition of surveillance cameras in towns with 24 hour monitoring
- New intelligence gathering prior to and during visits of the areas frequented by visitors
- Monitoring of the movement of visitors
- Increased high intensity patrols of popular attractions throughout the territory
In addition, the U.S. Virgin Islands' tourist office announced plans this past Friday for a $1.2 million advertising and marketing campaign that will hopefully help portray the territory in a better light than it has been recently due to the news of the killing and violence on the island. The money will also be spent on new public relations efforts and to bring travel writers to the territory to write about it.