Tobago 2015

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Carol G
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Tobago 2015

Post by Carol G » Tue Feb 10, 2015 10:44 pm

Hi All
See Tobago News Facebook website for the front page of tomorrow's Tobago News (Wed 11 Feb)...does make you wonder, as one person commented a "real shot in the arm"
Will have to await to read anything further (that is, if the Tobago News website updates sometime in the next century).
I hardly feel like saying Cheers, really discouraging for those who do make their living in tourism.
Carol

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Re: Castara and Tobago 2015

Post by Paul Tallet » Fri Feb 13, 2015 11:01 pm

I have been reading this article repeatedly over the last few days and I am still trying to work out what tree this politician fell from when he was born ... or perhaps he has been mis-quoted?!?

http://www.thetobagonews.com/news/item/ ... ting-crime

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Re: Castara and Tobago 2015

Post by Glyn Kirpalani » Tue Feb 17, 2015 11:10 am

Yes his maths is appalling. Let's say in a typical year 500 are murdered in Trinidad with a population of 1 million (although some think it may be much higher with numerous immigrants unaccounted for). This = 1 in 2000 chance of being murdered.

In Tobago a bad year would see 10 folks murdered which = a much reduced 1 in 5,000 chance of suffering an unplanned end. NB: this ignores his comment about being shot and includes all methods.

PS: in 2013/4 there were 537 murders in England and Wales with a population of 56.1 million, rendering folks with a 1 in 104,000 chance of an untimely end, ie some 20+ times less likely to be killed than Tobago and over 50 times safer from homicide than Trinidad. Excuse the rounding up and also, does anyone know how many died in Tobago last year from homicide? I think it was IRO 7-15 but cannot recall

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Re: Castara and Tobago 2015

Post by Ronald » Tue Feb 17, 2015 12:53 pm

An other thing to think about except the number of murders in T&T are these facts:
- the majority of killings/murders in Trinidad are gang-related in one way or on other
- as gang members are moving in to Tobabgo, at least I see it that way, the numbers of killings/murders in Tobago are increasing because of that
- next is the killings/murders inside a family, close family or more distance, happens every year
- also, quite often a man how was turned down by his girfriend/wife become mad and kill her
- when deliting all killings/murders as above, how many visitors are killed/murdered per year in T&T, Very Few
- visitors in T&T are seldom the prime target, if they happend to be in an area when shootings starts, they have just very bad luck

Even in Sweden we regulary see shootings every week in different cities/areas, as the gangs fighting each other here too. These shootings isn´t nice for the people who live into that area, but they are never the prim target. Unfortunally, these gang members, never mind if we talk about T&T, England, Sweden or any other country in Europe, are not excactly snipers. They are mostly not good at all with their weapons, therefore accidents often can happens when innocent peoples are in the same area.

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Re: Castara and Tobago 2015

Post by Paul Tallet » Fri Feb 20, 2015 7:10 am

The one key vital statistic is that several visitors or foreigners residing in Tobago have been subjected to some appalling machete attacks in recent years, most of which have been fatal. I do not recall any convictions for these.

So ... there are one or more murderers that have not been caught and are quite likely to do it again, if they can get away with it.

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Re: Castara and Tobago 2015

Post by Ronald » Fri Feb 20, 2015 9:27 pm

Hi Paul, and others..

This will be a long one, but I feel for writing today…
If Steve feel I write too much or tell things that, in his opinion, is wrong, Steve has full freedom to cut or even totally delete this from the website.

It´s true that there been attacks to visitors and/or foreign citizens who visit/live in Tobago, and some of them are murders.
There has been some English, and I remember a couple who lived in the Bacolet area, they were nearly killed, both of them. And as far I know, the police did never found the real guys responsible for that.
What to search after “black guy” isn´t a valid key word here, and DNA is the same thing, the police just start to come closer to higher standard as Canada, USA, Europe, but they aren´t there yet, at least mostly branches in Tobago, Trinidad has got a far “better training” of looking for evidence regarding murders and killings!

There have also been other such attacks too during the years, like the Swedish couple who did live into a house in the Bon Accord development, that intruder jumped over the wall and went into the house, no one did see him enter or leave the house as it was the last one nearby a green area. The houses into Mt Irvine area has also got some intruders during the years.
But still, this is not a “every-month” bad thing, not at all. And as these guys come and go without anyone who can identify them, the police has very little facts do deal with.

But does that means that Tobago has become dangerous now? More dangerous than Canada, USA, United Kingdom, Sweden or any other country in Europe?
I say NO it hasn´t, but it does happens if not every year or month, murders are seen in Sweden too, and also in England.

But as far I can see and read comments from visitors, the owners of big houses has stepped up the security, and they needed to do so. To read “Murder in a house in Tobago” in the papers and Internet isn´t the best advertise for house rental.

And visitors, at least I feel so, are more and better prepared for a visit in Tobago now a day, as they can use www.myTobago.info to read and search for information. We all know that Government Tourist Information, never mind which country we are talking about, never tell the whole story.
It´s ONLY we, who spend time in Tobago who can tell other visitors “it´s OK to do so, to stay there, to travel like this, but avoid this and/or that because…”,

A mostly visitor does rent houses, apartments together with their friends/family, but I´m single. So I travel alone to every place I´ve been to, or in company with a friend or co-worker, until 2010 when I´d retire as an electric engineer.
I started to travel to all countries in the south of Europe in the 70s to mid-80s, all except France and Italy, I´ve been in England, France and Germany (even East-Berlin) but that was work-related. Also to Hungary, Turkey, Egypt and Israel, a trip to India was work-related. So I have met many different types of peoples, all kinds of religion, cultures and so forth.

I came to West Indies for the first time in 1987, during -87 to -90 I made Barbados, St Vincent, Bequia, Mustique, Antigua and Trinidad, my island hopping mostly started there with LIAT, mostly 5-7 weeks per year.
Between 1990 – 1992 I spent all my vacations (5-6 weeks) in Trinidad, in Port of Spain, La Saiva, Chauguanas and some smaller places inside South-Central Trinidad.
But from July 1992 I have spend my vacations in Tobago with just smaller trips to Trinidad, and as I´d retire in June 2010, I now spend the winter here, six months a year.

So during this period I live here, I´m not on vacation, and therefore one of course do a lot more and different things compared a visitor who comes for a few weeks. I have mostly renting an apartment in Bon Accord and Crown Point, this year I rent in Grange, some 4 km from the Penny Savers in Carnbee.
What I do? I do a lot of walking on the roads, to see different areas and to meet peoples, and I don´t mean a walk around the corner. These walks have made it possible for me to meet all kinds of local peoples into different areas.
This is my list, smaller walks for 2-3 hours aren´t included:
-Crown Point/Bon Accord area; via Golden Grove Rd via Bucco Road to Bucco forth and back
-Crown Point/Bon Accord area; via Golden Grove Rd and Bucco Road to Plymonth and Arnos Vale forth and back
-Crown Point/Bon Accord area; via Golden Grove Rd to Mt Plesant area, forth and back
-Crown Point/Bon Accord area; via Golden Grove Rd, Bucco Rd, Arnos Vale Rd, Les Coteaux and down to Scarborough, route-taxi home
-Crown Point/Bon Accord area; via Golden Grove Rd, Bucco Rd, Arnos Vale Rd, Les Coteaux, Golden Lane, Moriah, Mason Hall and down to Scarborough, route-taxi home
-Crown Point/Bon Accord area; via Golden Grove Rd, Bucco Rd, Arnos Vale Rd, Les Coteaux, Golden Lane, Moriah, Runnemede, Castara, bus and route-taxi home
-Grange: via Bethel across to the highway crossing Signal Hill or Patience hill, and back
-Grange: via Bethel down via a small road crossing Mt Irvine Golf Lane and the hotel to Mt Irvine Beach and back
-Grange: via Bucco Bay Road to Bucco, Mt Irvine beach and back
-Scarborough: to Bacolet and that area, back again and route-taxi home
-Scarborough: via the Windward Rd to Bacolet, Hope, Mt George, Studley Park, Goodwood, Pembroke, Richmond, Belle Garden, Argyle Waterfall, Roxbrough, Delaford and King Bay, and bus/route-taxi home
-Roxborough: Delaford and King Bay, Speyside, Batteaux Bay, Charlotteville,and bus/route-taxi home

Why do I write this, because I wanted to show that I´ve been walking a lot on my own for many years into different areas, and I´ve made the same walk many times, and I have NEVER been under attack!
Instead I have always met locals who are more than willing to give information, that is needed up here as these smaller roads has No Name!
They also can say “we do not walk down that road if we mustn´t, there´s a family there who make problems”.

I wanted to show that one use common sense, behave normally and not as the Big Man, it´s safe to move around even if you are alone, it might be a different story if woman do so of course.
But because I walk alone a lot, that doesn´t mean that I walk as a silly fool. If one has bad luck, never mind into which country you are, bad things can happen.
So I have some useful things to defend myself with in case I would need it, but so far, nothing has happens me during my many years of walking alone.
But I don´t let down my guard, it´s always better to be prepared instead of being un-prepared!

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Re: Castara and Tobago 2015

Post by Paul Tallet » Sat Feb 21, 2015 10:04 am

I never intended to post about the murders in Tobago in this string as this is well covered in 'Health & Security' but hey ho ...


Ronald, I think that your safety is better assured due to the fact that you do not look rich and you probably do not carry much valuables. I believe that robbery is a different kind of risk because, correct me if I am wrong, the murders did not seem to be motivated for wealth.

From my angle, no one has put forward a reason for the murders and the most recent murder was on a beach which seems quite random to me. And, most of the murders have been on semi-residents (people that live in Tobago). A minority of attacks on short term visitors.

I may be wrong but in my opinion I think that the murders have been motivated by a general dislike of foreigners, especially those that settle in Tobago.

Just my opinion.

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Re: Castara and Tobago 2015

Post by Glyn Kirpalani » Sat Feb 21, 2015 10:26 am

Ronald your posts are always encouraging and informative but I would recommend that visitors planning trips to Tobago enjoy them safely by following the government (s) advice and staying in the safest guarded resorts, avoiding being alone anywhere etc etc.

Just because you have not been mugged or worse does not mean that a family or couple might avoid trouble.

I believe the best crime comparisons are like for like, and not comparing (for instance) drugs gangs in London sink estates with drug gangs in the Caribbean to claim that murders happen everywhere.

On that basis, in the last 15 years we could compare the number of holiday villa invasions and armed robberies/rapes in Tobago with the number of holiday cottage invasions and armed robberies/rapes in, say, the Scottish islands, or Isle of Wight.

Or you could do a similar crime stat comparison for non violent crimes, eg theft by hotel staff.

Tobago, Thailand, India, southern Spain, will all compare badly with the safest islands in north-western Europe. But this does not mean that the lush tropics should not be enjoyed - just that folks should not leave their brains and wits behind and do stupid stuff that they might get away with in Devon, eg all swimming at once with bags on the beach, or staying in an unguarded holiday cottage/villa. We ought to avoid exaggerating both the risks, and - as you do sometimes - the safety of the island.

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Re: Castara and Tobago 2015

Post by Ronald » Sat Feb 21, 2015 12:57 pm

A last comment re this topic;

I fully agree with Paul when he say:
"I think that your safety is better assured due to the fact that you do not look rich and you probably do not carry much valuables".
You are VERY correct Paul, I don´t even have a ring or chain in gold or silver on me, and as I´m walking here-there I for sure don´t have fancy clothes eigter. Never such things when I was travelling around in Europe, Turkey, Egypt, Israel eigter. Peoples sometimes make themself to a target without knowing that.
"..no one has put forward a reason for the murders.."
Well Paul, sometimes there might not be a real resaon at all, some of these peoples do not make up a plan"we do so and so", some just do it without thinking very much.
"..murders have been motivated by a general dislike of foreigners, especially those that settle in Tobago".
That can be a very high fact, as many foreign peoples has bought and buildt houses land in Tobago since the 80s, the prices is now so high so "normally" peoples can´t afford to buy, I guess that is one reason that foreigners now can not buy land where ever they want, at least I remember that such a law was suppose to come

And I fully agree with Glyn too when he say:
"I would recommend that visitors planning trips to Tobago enjoy them safely by following the government (s) advice and staying in the safest guarded resorts, avoiding being alone anywhere etc"
I, and many others, can stay, live, walk around as I do, because we have been here for so many years, we know what to do and, the MOST important thing, we know what we must NOT do!
Those visitors who comes for a vacation, the first priority must always be, never mind if we talk about T&T or a country in Europe or where ever, SECURITY, to know what you as a visitor can do and what you must NOT do.

"Just because you have not been mugged or worse does not mean that a family or couple might avoid trouble"
Correct Glyn, we can NEVER put one persons living experience on an other person, we can only use facts, infos and see "does that have a value for me"
And also, a person who have been visiting an area for many years, doesn´t act as a visitor, that is a fact never mind wich country we are talking about.

I simply wanted to tell those new visitors or visitors who might thinking of staying longer periods here, what I have done. An other thing is also, as I have always rented by locals, into their homes, locals who only rent out to peoples they trust, by that I´m known by many in their family, even peoples I don´t have met!
But my way of living doesn´t fit everybody, we are all different, custom with different things, so what is good enough for one person might unacceptable for an other, I have myself met Swedish peoples thinking like that!

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Re: Tobago 2015

Post by Steve Wooler » Sat Feb 21, 2015 4:58 pm

There’s very little that I can disagree with, as commented by the various contributors in this post – all of whom have extensive experience and knowledge of Tobago and know what they are talking about. However, there are just a couple of points that I would like to throw into the pot in the interest of balance.

My current information is unconfirmed, but comes from knowledgeable and normally reliable sources. We arrived in Tobago 4 days ago and I haven’t yet had the chance to get on or off record comment from insiders who really know the score. I will update this post if I hear anything significant or which might counter my comments below.

The recent fatal attack on the elderly German couple, Birgid and Hubertus Keil, was obviously dreadful. They were not robbed and their nearby home not touched, even though they would have had the keys with them, one assumes. They were apparently accustomed to taking regular very early morning walks along the beach. Now, as anyone familiar with the Bacolet area knows, Minster Bay beach is accessible from several points, but largely hidden from view and yet ideally placed next to the highway around Scarborough. Due to the shallow waters and nature of the beach, it is allegedly a favourite spot for drugs to be landed from the fast speedboats that bring them over from the South American coast. Given the nature and ferocity of the attacks on the Keil’s, I am inclined to give credibility to those who suggest that these poor folk happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Drug runners don't mess about and perhaps the Keil's saw too much!!!

The only other machete attack was on the English couple, Peter and Murium Green. Now, for legal and other reasons I must be careful here, so I can’t publish everything I've been told. I am, however, inclined to agree with those that suggest that it was a tragic case of mistaken identity. The Green’s – totally innocent victims in this sad affair – were neighbours of, and friendly with, German resident, Peter Taut. In fact I’m told that they had borrowed his car. Parked in their drive, it could well have given the wrong impression. Now, Peter Taut was allegedly living a very dangerous lifestyle and mixing with some very dodgy people. He was killed 3 month after the attack on the Green’s (original post). The Trinidadian culprits were caught and convicted of his killing. I believe that Peter Taut was possibly the intended victim, making it a tragic case of mistaken identity.

Finally, may I refer to the Swedish couple who were murdered in their Bon Accord home back in October 2008 – the first overseas visitors to be killed on Tobago, with the exception of a resident American girl killed in what might be described as a ‘domestic’ incident. (original post). I became aware of this Swedish couple more than a year before the killing, when a resident sent me a photograph of their heavily fortified home, with its rolls of razor wire guarding the high walls. This fortification was suspicious in itself. Again, I am limited in what I can say. However, the family had allegedly close connection with known drugs barons and it is a matter of public record that tens of thousands of dollars in cash were stolen from the house at the time of the murder. We must all draw our own conclusions in the absence of a confirmed explanation.

Drugs appear to be the common theme. The Keils and the Greens were tragic innocent victims. Perhaps it would only be appropriate to warn visitor to avoid remote beaches other than at times when other people are about.

What a sad world!
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Re: Tobago 2015

Post by Paul Tallet » Sun Feb 22, 2015 2:32 pm

Well there you go ...

There are many sides to any story.

Enjoy your holiday Steve and don't work too much.

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Re: Tobago 2015

Post by Steve Wooler » Sun Feb 22, 2015 3:16 pm

We all know there there is invariably two sides to any story. Running my own businesses with triple-figure employees taught me that three or four sides was often more likely. Then, after I retired, my deeper involvement with Tobago taught me that even a diamond had fewer sides than the average Tobago-related story. The trick is in finding the most logical and likely scenario that most closely relates to the known facts. The fascinating thing about Tobago that our love for the island is matched by equal amounts of frustration. Perhaps that is the magical X-factor that keeps so many of us returning year after year.
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Re: Tobago 2015

Post by Ronald » Sun Feb 22, 2015 6:43 pm

Steve Wooler;
myTobago´s own Private Investigation and/or Secrite Service´s Investigation

He ALWAYS know facts others do not know and/or can not reach!

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Re: Tobago 2015

Post by lllehman » Sun May 17, 2015 2:12 pm

As a new visitor to Tobago last month, I felt compelled to write of our experiences there. We stayed at Top O' Tobago and drove to Castara Beach, Englishman's Bay, Grafton Wildlife Sanctuary, Speyside, and due to getting lost repeatedly on Arnos Vale Rd. once even took a dirt road back to the west side of the island. At no time did we feel threatened either driving around or snorkeling. I want to say this because I agree that that some of the forum talk is too cautionary to the point that people will refuse to go to the island. That is a mistake as my husband and I have traveled worldwide and found the island to be so refreshingly real with fantastic local food and an abundance of birdlife, quite unique among Caribbean islands. The local folk were very friendly and helped give us directions many times. Note to Tobago officials: get some road signs!!!! Especially in the Arnos Vale Road area when returning from the North Beach Coast, it is so easy to get lost and end up in Scarborough. Not only did we enjoy our stay, we rarely repeat visits anywhere, but talk daily of returning to Tobago.

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Re: Tobago 2015

Post by Robert T » Sun May 17, 2015 9:05 pm

Finding your way around Arnos Vale can be a bit quirky , I surely agree... 8-[ :shock: #-o

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