Robbery at Pigeon Point

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Robbery at Pigeon Point

Post by Robert T » Fri Feb 08, 2013 11:29 am


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Re: Robbery at Pigeon Point

Post by Dr Stefan Rustscheff » Fri Feb 08, 2013 11:56 am

Rather horrible. My thoughts go to the poor elderly couple and especially to the male, who, by the cutlass-wielding bastard, got maimed for life. Getting a nick in a finger is one thing. Losing one´s right thumb is quite another. Hopefully the bastard who did it chokes on his ill-gotten gains :evil:
When will ordinary Tobagonians learn that rotten apples must be taken out of the box? Tobago is a small society and surely has the same social control as in other small societies. Do they not understand what these isolated incidents mean to tourism? Can they not see the empty hotel beds, the lack of tourists, the disruption of airline services? Is "kith and kin" more important?
I thank god my own incident left me with all limbs intact.

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Re: Robbery at Pigeon Point

Post by Paul Tallet » Fri Feb 08, 2013 10:23 pm

Hmmm ... shocking indeed.

And more shocking that this incident has not been reported until almost 3 months later. Why?

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Re: Robbery at Pigeon Point

Post by Steve Wooler » Fri Feb 08, 2013 10:39 pm

We arrived here two days ago and this is the first we've heard of it or anyone here. In fairness, I'm deep in the rainforest and could be on a deserted island. However, I've spoken to a few contacts today and the consensus is that there was a very real attempt by the authorities to cover this up. However, on such a small island, you can never keep these things secret for long. This incident took place at Pigeon Point Heritage Centre, which of course is owned by the local government (THA). Do I smell something funny?
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Re: Robbery at Pigeon Point

Post by Robert T » Fri Feb 08, 2013 11:43 pm

Hi Steve and Paul,

We also thought of the possibility of a THA cover up. What stroke us the most was the fact that it'd taken place at a very popular touristy spot where my wife spends most of her time while I'm chasing the fish.

Rob
Last edited by Robert T on Sat Feb 09, 2013 1:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Robbery at Pigeon Point

Post by RobertE » Sat Feb 09, 2013 12:16 am

What is disturbing is that it is only now being reported after occurring on November 22/2012 and that it occurred within the Pigeon Point Park (controlled entrance/grounds with security on site). This is one of the most visited and public places on the island from my research.
My wife and I have travelled extensively around the world, are street/travel smart and know that crime happens anywhere and everywhere (My home town included) but this incident sets itself apart for the above reasons.

We are taking my teenage daughter there for 10 days next month, staying at a place near Pigeon Point and another at Arnos Vale. I researched Tobago with the help of this forum and the MyTobagoinfo forum, both countinually usefull as the most uptodate source of info from fellow travellers.

I read all the reports of Health and Safety, and from the State Depts(Canada,USA, GB) and felt that crime on the island was in check. The above incident has rattled me but I am not in a position to change paid flights,room deposits at this late stage.
I would hope that authorities on the island would be relentless in apprehending the person/s responsible and take a zero tolerance to Tourist Crime. Tobago is a small island and I'm sure Tourism is the top source of employment and income for the residents. Incidents like this will kill tourism on the island, Guaranteed!
This is the first planned trip after 40+ years of travelling that I am nervous about my family's safety.

Bob

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Re: Robbery at Pigeon Point

Post by Paul Tallet » Sat Feb 09, 2013 9:04 am

The report does not actually say if the incident took place within the 'paying area' or along the road that leads up to the gates/entrance.

The area outside the entrance is fairly remote and even the beach along this route can be empty. This is the area where about 13 years ago I had a brush with a cutlass wielding individual who demanded money from me ... fortunately or unfortunately I had none and instead I had to bluff him that not only I, but our waiting taxi driver had been watching him acting suspiciously and the taxi driver knew who he was.

This story relied on him having the brains to realise that if he did anything wrong he would be arrested quickly ... luckily it worked and he stomped off shouting expletives.

I learned from this that if you are carrying a bag anywhere remote that thieves are going to want to know what is in it and I have since walked the Pigeon Point strip with nothing but my car keys in my pockets.

No problems since if that is of any reassurance to anybody.

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Re: Robbery at Pigeon Point

Post by Karambesi » Sat Feb 09, 2013 9:48 am

If one can give to believe the report, it surprised me very much, that's just happened at Pigeon Point this.
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Re: Robbery at Pigeon Point

Post by Glyn Kirpalani » Sat Feb 09, 2013 10:43 am

This is awful and I too heard nothing of it from my contacts on the island last year. As Paul says, the road to Pigeon Point is long and can be quiet, and it appears the guy in the bushes must have timed his attack on the cyclists when no other cars or persons were passing - I doubt that this happened inside the complex itself, but who knows. My recommendation, sad though it makes me to say this, would be to use a taxi from Crown Point to get inside Pigeon point itself, and not to risk the walk unless in a large group with several males, or guided by local guides. I really do not know what else to say, other than if Orville London and his THA cronies had delivered what they promised back in 2005 and ever since - ie "Tourist Police" precepted only to patrol the heavier-touristed areas to watch out for them and to deter the bad boys - this may never have happened (while simultaneously boosting tourism due to the positive PR of such tourist-security officers, and also reducing unemployment - the same police cleaned up Rio in Brazil in the 90's and made Copa Cabana etc safer and touristed once more). But no, these politicians have other nests to feather.

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Re: Robbery at Pigeon Point

Post by Ronald » Sat Feb 09, 2013 12:02 pm

I´m also much surprised to read this, I have myself been walking many times on that road as I don´t have a car. And when I go there, when the sea is too bad in Store Bay, I walk and have my towels, money for the day, my cellphone etc, items into a bag.

After passing the gate, where you pay the fee, than there are very few places to hide into some bushes, as the are far from the road itself. There´s some nearby th esea, but it´s still far from the road. The situation is of course the same when leaving Pidgeon Point, and if they used a bicycle..

And outside the gate, there are several smaller local places of different types just outside the gate until you reach Conrado and the fishermans place.
Between Conrado and Bago´s bar, there you have bushes nearby the road, but the road are used by many during daytime. There are also locals who sells their craft beside the road, about halfway from Conrado when leaving the area.

I haven´t seen any report in the Daily Express eighter. It has been local elections here, but still, someone who attack and rob peoples, never mind if it´s locals or visitors, it should be into the bigger papers too.
THA for sure do not want to see such reports in the papers, it´s bad for them and Tobago, as the number of visitors has fallen very much since the 90´s, many places are closed now a days. Airlines doesn´t come as they use to do 10 years ago.

So, if they were on the road, using their bikes, where were they when it happend, and when, about what hour? It would be very interesting to have som facts and not only what´s on that webpage.

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Re: Robbery at Pigeon Point

Post by RobertE » Sat Feb 09, 2013 3:18 pm

I know there have been ongoing incidents of crime over the years, some violent but this attack is front and center because of its nature: unreported 3 months , violent and in a more public area (Crown Point). Those of you that know Pigeon Point say there are isolated stretches where it probably happened, okay point noted.
But.. in my research about safety/crime on the island from this Forum and TripAdvisor , there are isloated places /beaches on the island where most of the crime/incidents has taken place and warnings/advisories about not to go there are given here.
If violent crime happens in Crown Point (the most touristed,visited, public area on the island) and It would appear that local authorities have done little and indeed have maybe tried to cover it up, then I would ask everyone here:

Where on the island is it safe to be? ... Anywhere where crime has not been reported yet?

I am visiting next month with my wife and daughter, If we walk along any beach , road to restaurant/bar ... in our room...do we keep in our minds that behind the next bush or behind our door might be an attacker with a machete/gun to rob us or worse?
Whats the point of this Holiday destination?
There are a lot of regular travellers to Tobago who contribute on this forum and TripAdvisor forum and they keep in contact with people/places on the island.
The more discussion about this attack and more feedback to the island residents/Tourism businesses etc might get the Island Authorities to clean up their act, otherwise Tobago will deserve the inevitable outcome.

Bob

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Re: Robbery at Pigeon Point

Post by Steve Wooler » Sat Feb 09, 2013 4:33 pm

I am frankly at a loss for words. I cannot disagree with anything you say, Bob.

I've just received some further information on the incident from a reliable contact; so the information should be accurate. The attack happened at about 6pm, outside park hours. It happened INSIDE the park, on the road that leads out of the park.
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Re: Robbery at Pigeon Point

Post by Robert T » Sat Feb 09, 2013 9:35 pm

Steve,

Your information is correct. A local friend of mine who works inside the complex has just told me that it happened in the dark when they were on their way out of the park.

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Re: Robbery at Pigeon Point

Post by Ronald » Sun Feb 10, 2013 12:17 pm

If it happens at 6pm, than it´s dark but the area is for sure not empty, so I really wonder how they act on this. I spend my winter here in Crown Point area and I´d never hear anything about this. I know many around here making their business at Store Bay, and I would guess they should know about this!

But during this period Tobago was moving forward to their election, and PNM (I guess) didn´t want to alert this in papwers or TV, it would be bad news for them as they have been ruling Tobago for many years now.
They made sure that these peoploes did come home as quickly as possible, that´s good, by I wonder if it was only for their best or if it was only for "safety reason" regarding bad news during the election.

Than the next question, as Tobago is such a small island, the man who did attack them should most likely be known by peoples around here, so how com no one did come to the police with info? I´ll for sure ask some peoples I know since 90´s here if they know something. Is it the old thing again, the monkeys; "I don´t see, don´t hear, don´t talk"?

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Re: Robbery at Pigeon Point

Post by Glyn Kirpalani » Sun Feb 10, 2013 12:53 pm

Sadly (but understandably) when deeply traumatic crimes like these take place, the victims cannot leave the island fast enough - so even on the odd occasion when an enthusiastic set of detectives thinks they know who it is and is actually motivated to pursue an investigation/prosecution, the victims do not hang around to participate in line-up identity parades, or to return to give evidence when the case reaches court (which can be as much as 9-12 years later, if at all - often bribes or family strings are pulled and the entries to the police station diary and/or the case files mysteriously go missing, or the officers in the case call in "sick" every day of the trial, leading to the aquittal of the suspect). As someone once said, for a nation to be classified as "civilised", it must have a functioning judicial system, and a functioning tax raising system. T&T has a long way to go yet, in its slow development - but there are always exceptions, and one or two detectives plus some of the magistrates in Tobago are genuinely excellent and enthusiastic in their work. But the majority let the side down.

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Re: Robbery at Pigeon Point

Post by Paul Tallet » Sun Feb 10, 2013 4:28 pm

Hmmm ... well it does seem pretty obvious that there is something rather smelly going on here in terms of the disclosure of this incident.

Although I have read and commented on these unpleasantries for many years on this forum and I continue to believe that Tobago is no worse than anywhere else and refuse to stay away because of it, it seems that the lack of reporting here adds a worrying dimension to those seeking assurances of their safety.

Why is Steve having to chase around trying to find out more? It's ridiculous, he shouldn't have to do this ... the information should be there on a plate. I am not sure what percentage of Steve's work in promoting Tobago through myTobago can be attributed to the tourism business ... whether it be considered negative or positive I am pretty sure many people go there because of this website ... no other country (to my knowledge) has this free service and support ... Steve should be one of the first people to receive news of this otherwise it simply undermines all his hard work.

I can live with the reality that people can be attacked and robbed in any place in the world and although I do not like reading about it I cannot tolerate non-reporting or 'cover-ups' ... that is the big factor that would stop me from going back again.

If it carries on then the end-game is less tourism (already in decline), less business for Tobago and, of course, the only positive from the visitor's point of view ... less tourists to rob and abuse!!

Think about it Tobago ... take action before it is too late otherwise it's your loss.

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Re: Robbery at Pigeon Point

Post by Ronald » Tue Feb 12, 2013 11:30 am

I´ve been asking some peoples I know for long time here in the Crown Point area, some of them didn´t know anything about this as the papers didn´t write anything about it, some say that they did hear about it, but they didn´t know more about it.

It´s also a fact that the upcoming THA-election was hot during this time, so one reason it didn´t come public could be the election, PNM maybe didn´t want to put too much on it as they could be blamed for poor sceurity and poor government of Tobago by the opposite side?

And the legal matter, yes, it far too often take too long time, and when the victims are at home, they very often do not want to return to Tobago. So even if the police would been able to catch him, the matter could still be legally unsolved!

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Re: Robbery at Pigeon Point

Post by Paul Tallet » Tue Feb 12, 2013 12:42 pm

The following article in the Tobago News recently.

http://www.thetobagonews.com/news/Unity ... 38611.html

The article does not address safety and the responses to the article are particularly interesting.

I think Tobago is going to find the plans outlined to improved tourism as difficult as nailing smoke to a wall.

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Re: Robbery at Pigeon Point

Post by GAlkins » Tue Feb 12, 2013 8:52 pm

Hello,
I live in Tobago and heard this story the day after it happened because I have friends who windsurf and kitesurf at Pigeon Point.
First of all the German couple were here to windsurf and were renting equipment at Pigeon Pt before the attack happened. I have worked there for 5 years and never heard of any incident like this occurring before. Apparently the couple were attacked between the first and second guard booth before 6pm. In broad daylight. This news was suppressed.

Yes, crime happens all over the world but the response by the police and the authorities are pathetic and on behalf of the people of T&T I'm so sorry for what happened to that couple.
We are not serious enough about Tourism. Tobago is a wonderful place but I think it's lost its innocence a while ago.

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Re: Robbery at Pigeon Point

Post by D.Haggan » Wed Feb 20, 2013 3:11 pm

We heard about this incident on our first day in Tobago on 26th Nov which obviously shocked us and were extra vigilant.My thoughts are with the poor gentleman who is still in recovery.
I will point out that we never felt uncomfortable or threatened at any time during the day whilst on our travels and we ventured down to Crown point most evenings and did not experience any issues.
We will certainly be back this year. I guess there are evil individuals all over the world who take the liberty of being violent against tourists

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