Savarin McKenzie is President of the Dominica Business Forum

As Dominica prepares for the arrival of another weather system which may be Tropical Storm Isaac or Hurricane Isaac, the Dominica Business Forum (DBF) Inc. calls on the Private Sector to take measures to safeguard investments and to be reminded of the unfortunate experiences of Hurricane Maria, the subsequent looting, and relative inactivity of the Police just under a year ago.

The DBF Inc. encourages investors to put in place the necessary security mechanisms to protect their investments, which should include consideration of safe shelter for their security services and collaboration with the Police.

The relevant authorities are taking measures to facilitate the protection and safety of the citizenry and the State apparati; it is therefore left to the private sector to recognize its responsibility to protect its assets and to learn from the recent past.

The DBF Inc. calls on the Dominican population to demonstrate respect for their fellow citizens and particularly for private enterprises, and to desist from action that will inflict further hardship on the business community which has not recovered from the brutal looting in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

The DBF Inc. is aware of opportunistic elements who are happy to take advantage of adverse weather conditions to execute criminal plans of looting, burglary and vandalism of property.

In this regard the DBF Inc. is in full support of law enforcement agencies, specifically the Commonwealth of Dominica Police Service, to adopt a zero tolerance policy to intended perpetrators of crime.

Anyone caught in such cowardly acts must feel the fullest brunt of the law.

The authorities should be mindful that the private sector has a responsibility and obligation to safeguard their property and should therefore not be confused with the criminals.

The DBF Inc. urges the authorities to execute their powers with due care and attention to avoid any unfortunate situation where private investors are mistakenly penalized as the criminals.

It is, therefore, necessary for law enforcement authorities to put a mechanism in place to allow bona fide private sector operators the opportunity to protect their businesses without fear of being prosecuted.

The DBF Inc. joins the God-fearing people of the Commonwealth of D0minica in prayer and asks our God to protect and spare our beloved homeland from the ravages of Isaac.

We ask for blessings of this nation and its people as we pray knowing that the almighty Yahweh is the ultimate power who has dominion over the storms.

God bless Dominica.