Since the Safe Tourism program was introduced on the island of Sal, the rate of robberies targeting tourists on the beaches and remoter zones of the island has dropped dramatically. Between January and June of this year, National Police have recorded no reports of this type of crime. The news represents a victory for the National Police project and for tourist businesses as well, who have long expressed concern about the safety situation on the island’s beaches.
National Police data does, however, indicate an increase in the number of thefts against tourists in hotels and closed condominiums. If in the first six months of 2012 only six such cases were registered, this year the numbers are shocking – a total of 61 crimes have been registered by police. The rate, however, has gone down somewhat since May.
“These are cases of crimes against tourists that take place in hotels, often inside hotel rooms themselves. There have also been cases of thefts and burglaries in closed condominiums in Santa Maria. Other robberies take place here and there in the city, but only in a very reduced number,” according to local National Police commander José Vaz Cabral, in whose opinion the National Police can do little to reverse this trend. “Hotels have their own security systems, so they are the ones who should be guaranteeing internally,” he says. Read more at Asemana