DHTA calls for urgent action plan against crime


The Dominica Hotel and Tourism Association (DHTA) on Tuesday called for an urgent action plan against crime here, while denouncing the killing of foreigner Joe Costello.

Simon Walsh, the DHTA President, has described the incident that took place last Sunday, as a crime against society. “It is now time for the Commonwealth of Dominica Police Force, the Ministry of Tourism, the Discover Dominica Authority, the DHTA and all private sector stakeholders to develop an urgent action plan to prevent further crimes here in Dominica,” he said.

Walsh labeled the incident as “terrible,” however, he underscored that Dominica is very peaceful.

“Most of us in Dominica are blessed to live in relative safety and security as perhaps the victims of this crime did until just recently,” Walsh stated.

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  1. Anonymous
    August 4, 2011

    I am heartbroken and horrified at the crime that has been committed. I agree with the many comments about the police needing more sophisticated training. It is time Dominica moved into the 21st century if we are going to have crimes of this nature–no phones at the police station? Indeed! We also have to admit the new conflict between the haves and the have-nots as new money comes into the country it creates a rift. Law abiding people may just feel used (earning the equivalent of US$18 for a day’s work). But the paros and crack addicted have decided to go beyond useful employment for a and easy fix of money. I came to Dominica in 1995 from the US with my Dominican husband to open a business. In those days the only murders were passion based and most of us felt safe. I would tell my guests that they could hitch a ride and not be afraid, that the most they would get was an offer of marriage. No more, we have to as careful as in any other country, maybe more so since our police seem unable to control the drug trade nor solve the most serious crimes.

  2. observer
    August 3, 2011

    we lucky is not an American,then we would know how important our FARMERS are.

  3. Snow
    August 3, 2011

    I just returned from Dominica. It was my fourth visit. I felt very uneasy in the streets, beaches and in general. Dominica has changed. After this news, I will never return to Dominica again nor will I encourage friends to visit. It’s very sad. The island is beautiful.

    • A
      August 3, 2011

      This is a very negative comment.

      • Snow
        August 3, 2011

        Negative but true. It’s not the first crime that’s happened in the area. A similar crime occurred at Cabana Beach not long ago.

      • Observer
        August 3, 2011

        If you were a visitor, how would you feel? I expect that kind of feeling – that what’s crime like that does. I tell people out here where I live about Dominica, but I do not boast of a peaceful place. I always tell them don’t let their guards down, and that crime is on the rist in the Caribbean, including Dominica.

      • One Love
        August 4, 2011

        8-O Its not NEGATIVE ……… SAFETY FIRST would you advise your mom to visit SYRIA today?

  4. August 3, 2011

    @wesleyman you are 100%right dominica is not as safe as they make it out to be so walsh need to do more investigation and stop hiding the truth

    • HighTimes
      August 3, 2011

      No where not safe….

  5. Mo
    August 3, 2011

    Terrible tragic news to hear the news about Joe . he will be remembered back in Coolmine Rugby Club , his old rugby club in Dublin, Ireland .
    i shared a room with Joe, many years ago on a rugby tour to italy
    sad tragic news
    great guy RIP

  6. ineedfree
    August 3, 2011









  7. The truth
    August 3, 2011

    What are people taking about Dominica do not have jobs? Alot of people doing these crimes live in household with other people. How expensive can it be for them to share the expenses if they all work? I come to dca n get a job everytime I come home. It’s not much, but it is better than sitting on the road doing nothing. I would rather $45 a day than $0. these boys want to sit and make big money and fast. That is the problem. You have organizations I’m Dominica that help und your business if you serious and can deliver a business plan. Dominica economy is no worse than the rest of the world at present. In fact, it is easier to make
    Somethig of yourself in Dominica. If you open you business you have gov help and less tax than almost
    Any other nation on the planet. So don’t make excuses for no lazy criminals. In fact, we need a bigger prison, so when they even contemplate doing such idiotic things, we can give them a good long stretch inside. But we must also have rehabilitation for them to learn how to be successful once released. Dca is another place where coming from prison doesn’t matter. We don’t take records as serious as other nations. It is easier to make something of yourself after prison than most countries. The easy come mentality is what needs to change. Nothing with the economy. Especially since I have opened a business personally with help from the relevant institutions made available by the gov and many others

    • The truth
      August 3, 2011

      Sorry for typing errors was on my phone. And meant that some org. Help fund your biz

  8. While we Bash DA
    August 3, 2011

    NASSAU, Bahamas — More murders took place in The Bahamas in July than in any other month in the country’s recorded history, according to police statistics.

    The murder count for July rose to 20 on Saturday morning. This month’s count exceeded the record established four months ago.

    According to police statistics, the highest number of murders in one single month previously stood at 16, which was recorded in March, and before that the record was 12, which was recorded in January.

    Before this year, the record stood at 11.

    As noted by Sergeant Chaswell Hanna of the Royal Bahamas Police Force in his recently published book “Reducing murders in The Bahamas: A strategic plan based on empirical research”, the previous record of 11 murders was achieved four times: October 2005, December 2006, November 2007 and September 2009.

    “We’ve never had [20] murders in one month,” confirmed Assistant Superintendent Anthony Ferguson.

    “Obviously the police, and as a country we really have to be concerned about the amount of violence that we are having. I think that as Bahamians we have to get together and provide the information necessary in going forward to assist the police.”

    The rise in murders is believed to be the result of a drug and turf war, however Ferguson did not comment on that.

    According to statistics, July is usually one of the busier months as it relates to murders.

    So far this year there have been 85 murders.

    • tiny
      August 3, 2011

      and would this have been your response if your daughter,mother, brother,sister or any other family member had been murdered

      • Hey
        August 3, 2011

        As always, people like you MISS the point. One murder is too much anywhere. BUT it is a fact of life that these awful things do occur EVERYWHERE and we must not try to potray the picture that it is worst here than elsewhere. That is the point!! Some people are just too emotional and don’t mind if they destroy an entire country just to please their own selfishness.

        We need to see how we can come together to curb this worrying trend and not sit back and lay blame on everyone else. this will simply get us NOWHERE!!!!

      • tiny
        August 3, 2011

        and you should not have such insensitive response after such an act takes place,we all know crime will never go away but what’s wrong in being emotional when such a senseless brutal act is done to someone.what’s wrong in dreaming about a crime less Dominica

      • tiny
        August 3, 2011

        and to add, did you not read the many post by victims who stated that reporting crime in Dominica is a big joke, one victim stated that he identified his attacker and still nothing was done….tell me why Dominica should not be criticized after reading such nonsense

    • Truth and Love
      August 3, 2011

      We should not bash DA. Murders occur everywhere in the world. It is noted though that as the population increased and more people became godless which also means unloving, heartless, inconsiderate and uncaring, crimes have increased.
      In addition, some people of a certain caliber who may not have been educated or who did not complete their education will resort to crimes; then associating with certain people of questionable character, bad company which corrupt.
      We must also consider that some of them who resided overseas and who were deported, some due to committing crimes, they continue their evil activities at home. They are the lawless people.
      Keep in mind that “Satan finds some mischief for idle hands to do.” Also in this case, idle legs. They need to keep busy and fruitful.
      I suppose that the government will have to make a concerted effort to assist those young people. Every village has a representative and they must also do their part.
      It is a shame though that a foreigner, only nine months in Dominica, was murdered by Dominican nationals. This is also what is shocking.
      I still consider Dominica a great place. There is nothing wrong with Dominica but with those who commit crimes/murders. Therefore, there should be no bashing of Dominica. If only crimes/murders would be eradicated, Dominica would be even more of a haven. People have a right to live in peace and safety. I do hope something good comes out of this. May God put a hand.

    • One Love
      August 4, 2011

      8-O So we comparing ourselves to Bahamas now?

      Thats the company we keep? :oops:

    • Anon Again
      August 4, 2011

      So what’s the point, While We Bash Da? We should be thankful that only one person died? We should wait until we get to 20 murders a month before we complain? One murder isn’t one too many? Someone just got slaughtered, for heavens sakes, and you’re trying to suggest that people shouldn’t complain. Tell that to the families of the victims! If this were your relative, how would you feel? This is a time to sympathize with the families of the victims of this senseless act, and to reflect on what has gone wrong and how we can repair the damage before more people lose their lives. Now is not the time to suggest that we are not as bad as other countries.

  9. concerned
    August 3, 2011

    While I 100% agree with Mr.Walsh, I am a bit disappointed that these public comments come only after someone finally died senselessly.

    So much have been happening in the last little while even as recent as the kidnapping of the German tourist … like seriously “some” of the these police officers need to be fired. I know you cannot teach common sense, but the police training program should include proper investigative techniques and how to speak to people. If the training already includes these techniques, then it is not working in most cases. When a police officer advises a victim to go investigate the case for themselves it leaves me to wonder what kind of incompetent fools we have protecting our safety. Training these guys to be physically fit is not enough! It makes me wonder if it is not the same group of thugs that committed this heinous crime!

    The next point that makes me sick to my stomach is the fact that the Marigot police station number is often dysfunctional. Like are you kidding me? So if I am being beaten or whatever the case and I am calling for help, I guess Crapo spoke my pipe and I will be dead! I guess some people are only interested in a pay check rather than doing the job they were hired for correctly. Do your jobs officers and stop only thinking about women.

    Furthermore, I often wonder why the tourism department (or who ever is responsible) has not taken steps to warn tourist and even locals about high risk beaches/areas etc…haven’t they heard of a little thing called a %$#& “Sign”. I would like to think that most of us are literate and can read and make the decision to go at our own risk, rather than having people unknowingly walk into a trap. Put signs up to help warn people any little bit helps.

    There are so many little lazy thugs just waiting to prey on innocent people for their hard earn penny and in the process destroying the poor country’s name. When all the investors are gone, what do you think will happen? While I agree there will always be crime, based on what I have witnessed, the authorities are not doing enough to help with the problem. Gone are the days when young men couldn’t find jobs and they would go work the fields with their parents and make an honest income. Now all they want to do is sit by the road, steal and do drugs to afford the stupid name brands, cattle chains, and rings they walk around with. I hope the thugs they caught for this senseless crime and get the electric chair because if that was one of my family members they certainly would not get to walk that street again.

    People we all need to do our part not just for tourism but for ourselves because we live there and have love ones. Gone are the days when we could leave our doors open – if you know who these sick parasites are call the police anonymously if you don’t want to identify yourselves and help them out. Dominica is too small for someone not to suspect or know something, please don’t wait for innocent people to lose their lives to act.

    The last few days I have read comments from ignorant folks talking about foreigners buying up all the land and doing business. Like do you realize these people are buying land from people who are willing to sell? They are not stealing it … its fair game, if you people have the money why don’t you go buy it and do some form of business rather than sit on your racist A$% and criticize and steal other people belongings. Grow up some of you please and do your part to stop those idle sick parasites from walking and breathing the same air as normal hard working people. These people did not deserve what happen to them … no one does!

  10. 1979
    August 3, 2011

    I have heard alot of people wanting to hang these perps, but i have just one question..
    QUESTION: predators arent just born. there must be some mechanism perpetuating these kinds of people in our society. we wont be solving the problem unless we identify WHYYYYY young men choose this life over a decent one.if we cannot find the root of this problem we will have alot of young men now and in the future to hang…

    • A
      August 3, 2011

      “If you suffer your people to be ill-educated, and their manners corrupted from infancy, and then punish them for those crimes to which their first education disposed them, what else is to be concluded… but that you first make thieves and then punish them?”

    • Why????????
      August 3, 2011

      Because they are lazy bastards who choose not to finish high school and get a job but rather drop out of school, be maintained by their relatives while they’re still teenagers then the family support begins to disappear and all of a sudden they need the latest shoes caps shirts phones and so much more and also by now they have women who wants the same things they want too and so instead of finding a job and f…..ing work they prefer to rob and kill. so darling it’s laziness and greed that’s the root of these problems.boys please stay in school or if you have dropped out it’s not too late learn a skill and work to earn yourself a living by the sweat of your brow! PLEASE!!!!

  11. Frank
    August 3, 2011

    The only way the police can solve a crime is with tips from the residents. There are unsolved crimes all over the world. I am happy for the person who went back to the States? (where a murder is committed every five seconds) let me know where in the States there is no crime. Compared to the rest of the world Dominica is a relatively safe country. If there is drug trafficking report it to the police.
    My prayers go to the victims.

  12. Secretary
    August 3, 2011

    Had the opportunity to meet Joe, once, through a mutual friend….. He seemed nice and was fun to hang with, for the few hours we hung out together………… saddened by this horrific and terrible incident.

  13. d/can
    August 3, 2011

    I am all for the police stepping up their game. However, we must remember they cannot do it alone. Someone must have an idea, a suspicion, know something that can at least point the police in the right direction. Police cannot be everywhere all the time. Stop pointing fingers; work together.

    • Anonymous
      August 3, 2011

      thanks well said

  14. August 3, 2011

    Smypathy to his love ones & Friends, it very sad, Right now the crime in the caribbean is high, there is no crime free Island.this crimnal prey on hard working people, so easy to work for what you want, the muderer should get one of the hardest sentence in dominica in history. Who ever have in mind to do like will think first, let dominica make history, I do hope this man was not involve shady business, this can lead to muder as well, it happen to often where i am from, they open a buiness, just for a cover up. I hope it not so.

  15. birdseye
    August 3, 2011

    it is simple
    greed + economic deprivation= crime.
    Can someone please balance the equation to change economic deprivation to economic developement.

    the devil makes work for idle hands

  16. Rob
    August 3, 2011

    1. It is imperative that the government of Dominica step in to put an end to crimes of this nature before the situation in Dominica gets worse. It does not take a lot for tourists to decide to visit somewhere else as safety is a major factor in deciding where to take your family on a holiday. As a Dominican myself, I have influenced many of my international friends to visit Dominica – to enjoy it’s warmth and beauty – but after reading the news of Joe Castello, I feel reluctant to recommend Dominica to my friends.

    2. Many Dominicans working abroad have plans to return upon retirement where they will contribute to developing the country and spending their hard earned money. But, the country needs proper security to encourage anyone to return. Not returning to Dominica means lost revenue for the country. There are thousands of Dominicans living abroad who would like to come back home – so do the math.

    3. Without suitable punishment criminals will continue to take advantage of what they consider action without consequence. It may be wise to research how Singapore has been able to keep it’s crime under control with a population of over 4 million on a landmass similar to the size of Dominica.

    We do not want to see Dominica turn into Jamaica and Trinidad with high rates of violent crime!

    • Eva
      August 3, 2011

      You are 100% correct!

    August 3, 2011

    The law in Dominica needs to change. STOP putting criminals on bail. Crimes are over the island but again, the crimes are hidden and no one or the people in charge are not doing their work. You have the police station phones not working, no vehicles to investigate the crimes.
    Dominica has changed it is no longer stay that is why I went back to the states. The police are jokers they drinking and playing domino.

  18. Truth and Love
    August 3, 2011

    The more I think of this incident about the Irish man who was murdered, the more it saddens me.
    Those criminals want money, no doubt, to feed their illegal drug habit and so they go where they think there is money and other items to steal and sell. In the interim they murder, callously taking a person’s life while protecting their own.
    It is said that thieves are worst than murderers, in that, a murderer will murder but thieves will murder if any one stands in their way of stealing or that they are so angry that they did not get anything to steal. They should receive the full brunt of the Law.
    Human life is precious and must be respected and preserved. A healthy man is deprived of his life. His life will never be replaced and he will never return. This is what which also saddens his family, the manner in which he died, never to see him again, to hear his voice, to touch him, to share and enjoy life’s moments with him and vice versa. A void in their life is created by wicked people. This is reason enough to incarcerate the murderers for life or execute them. They have committed two or more crimes.
    Holy Scriptures: “Rejoice with those who rejoice. Weep/mourn with those who do.” This is one of our Christian obligations.
    Family, friends and co-workers of Joe Costello we mourn your loss. We mourn with you. May God bless you, sustain you and comfort you.
    May he rest in peace. Amen!

    • Stupes
      August 3, 2011

      “Human life is precious and must be respected and preserved”, when the brunt of the law could very well be hanging. In the same breath, “incarcerate the murderers for life or execute them”! Anyone smell contradiction? Take away the lives of the crime doers for the life of one? Yea sure. This somehow wasn’t God’s will.

      • Truth and Love
        August 3, 2011

        @ Stupes

        You are stupid indeed. You would rather that they run free to commit crimes and murder others. People must pay for their crimes.
        Consider yourself and pray that this never happens to you or a relative.
        Evil is never God’s will. He did not send those thugs to murder an innocent man, injure his friends and steal from them. Those thugs put them to Hell on earth. Consider a person knowing that his end is near at the hands of thugs. So what are you stating? Those who do not live by the Law deserve punishment and banishment from the face of the earth. It may be that they are too far gone and beyond rehabilitation.
        A man has been deprived of his life while they run free to continue their carnage. Once people murder they are liable to murder again and continue their rampage. You would love that and be satisfied with it?
        If the Law of the land is incarceration or execution or hanging so be it. They must be put away once and for all. One or two more are off the streets forever. They will have gone to their eternal judgment.

  19. Fairplay
    August 3, 2011

    There is nothing that the Police could have done or will be able to do to prevent a crime like that.

    • Tourist
      August 3, 2011

      What on earth are you talking about? If the Dominican Police is not able to do something about this, the entire lot should be sacked. What is the point of having a police force in the first place if they can not deal with crime? Having said that, I should not even have bothered to reply to your comment, because it can only originate from somebody who is not right in his mind.

      • My2Sense
        August 3, 2011

        Justice is usually a reactive force, so Fairplay’s comment isn’t entirely wrong. The job of the Police and the DPP is to catch the offenders and ensure that their case is strong enough to convict and sentence appropriately.

        It is OUR job (the rest of society and the Police) to prevent these acts by nurturing, socializing, educating, teaching skills to and creating employment for these marginalized young men.

        Also, private individuals and property owners have the responsibility of protecting themselves from harm and malice (arming themselves, hiring security officers, etc)

    • Man in Dominica
      August 3, 2011

      Another online source reported that the police were called repeatedly by a security guard, but never came because their phones had been down for three weeks. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but throwing up our hands and saying nothing could be done is not helpful. The police are often slow to respond or otherwise ineffective.

    • gina
      August 3, 2011

      They could have responded quicker. The whole Marigot force should be suspended without pay! How can you work in a station & KNOW the phones don’t work & not take care of it.

  20. sorry for them
    August 3, 2011

    They better beg for mercy.
    Now a white non Dominican is killed the police, the judge etc will deal with them severely.
    At last we hope there may be hope for the numerous unsolved murders

    August 3, 2011

    Rick and his wife should fly out of Dominica for proper medical treatment. Especially, if he had head injuries. He and his wife needs head scan and needs to have done digital x-rays
    Also, the police needs to hold a press conference with the media addressing the public.

  22. Free Thinker
    August 3, 2011

    I agree with the statement. I am just disappointed that such statements only come out when they threaten our interest(s). There were other incidence of crime especially in the North/northeast and no such statement came out from DHTA so that urgent action could be taken. I fully agree that the institutions that be need to come up quick, fast and in a hurry with an effective plan to combat crime in Dominica; not just for our Tourism industry, but for our national safety and security.

  23. wesleyman
    August 3, 2011

    I agree with Mr. Walsh that this is a terrible event, Here is what we need to understand, we cannot allow events like this to cause the kind of knee jerk reaction that we not are ruled by the emotions and thereby deny the process, as much as most Dominicans would like to think that Dominica is the moist peaceful place in the world, the facts is the last ten or so murders in wesley are still unsolved, everyone in wesley except for the police know exactly where the crack houses are, how can you feel save in a community where people walk around with cutlasses after dark when there is no gardening that can be done, The people who are outraged will go back to their complacency once this blows over, please understand that you can make policy based on events, policies should be based on a process, the process in Dominica, unfortunately at this time is that even the economy is based on a drug culture, after they allowed agriculture to die in the north east wha they created was a situation where the young men look up to the drug dealers as their heroes and the young girls look to them as their providers, cut the crap, I was born and raised in wesley, and yet I feel safer when I go on vacation to Jamaica, because these people know what side their bread is buttered on, so there are safe tourist zones and they tell you where not to go. Mr. Walsh, have your tourist department creat safe zones for your visitors, stop staring the truth in the face and keep denying it, all the natural beauty in Dominica does not negate the fact there there are desperate young people who whill do any thing to get money because they really cant get it any other way.

    • gina
      August 3, 2011

      They can get money another way! THey don’t want to! THey want it quick & easy! THey dont want to work!

  24. Gage Cole
    August 3, 2011

    Joe Costello was a great man and will be missed.

      August 3, 2011

      To the person who ticked dislike. Do you have info that Mt Costello was not a great man. Has his friends, family, associates etc told you they will not miss him?

      You have no compassion. Stay in your corner and dislike all you want.

      I did not know Mr Costello, but I am saddened by his senseless death, just as I am by anyones.

  25. August 3, 2011

    commit the crime!! pay the time!!

    • Chris
      August 3, 2011

      Well before there is anymore talk about spending money on tourism and other stuff that is not a necessity to Dominica, at the top of the list should be spending money on retraining the police force in forensics etc to solve crime properly and make sure the right culprit is caught and brought to justice no matter who the victim is. Forget about spending millions on that new state house for instance and put the funds towards making Dominica safer for all instead. Weed out the crimes/criminals first and foremost and go from there. Because having big state house eg. thinking it will attract tourists because it big and nice and shiney will not do anything for Dominica if those tourists are afraid for their safety and not come see it. Dominica can’t depend solely on tourism to bring in revenue if tourists are being murdered and victimized at the hands of criminals around them.

      • Chris
        August 3, 2011

        And also make sure that all police stations are properly equipped with working phones, stationary etc to get the job done. If policemen are abusing the phones etc. to make long distance calls etc. causing them to get cut off investigate and take the payments out of the salaries of the culprits. If Peter have to pay for Paul so be it. When Peter tired have his salary cut because Paul always calling his girlfriend/family long distance on gov’t phone, he will finally speak up. Maybe if Paul is suspended for a couple months without pay (to start) he will start to adhere to the rules that the phone is for work related calls if he still want to abuse the rules then his backside should be fired, sure there is another officer who is loves his job enough to adhere to the rules who is willing to take his place and do his job the way it is supposed to be done.

      • Anonymous
        August 3, 2011

        You are so right my brother!

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