Safety in Mount Irvine?

Your questions on medical and security issues
Post Reply
Ryan W

Safety in Mount Irvine?

Post by Ryan W » Sun Aug 19, 2007 11:09 am

Hi

I have been to Tobago before, but it was in 1996 on a yacht. I sailed with my family from Cape Town (I am South African).

We spent over 8 months on the island. We anchored in Man of War bay for about 2 months, then the rest of the time in Mount Irvine and a little at Pigeon Point.

I was only 16 at the time and in those days I would take a taxi from Charottville to Mount Irvine and spend the weekend around that area. I would go out to different clubs (not sure if they still exist - The Deep, The Starting Gate etc.). I would literally just sleep on the bech in Mt Irvine and would freely walk anywhere on the island at any time of night, take any taxi / get a ride with anyone, and generally didnt have a care in the world!

I am now married and we have a little boy of 15 months. We are waiting for the American Embassy to issue our Greencards which have been approved but it will take a good few months to get them. We are in the UK and have lived here for over 4 years, but we are not keen on another winter. I work from home and just need internet to be able to work so I decided that what better place to be than Tobago to kill a few months!

So we have booked a Villa in Mount Irvine (Eternity Villa - http://www.pcevillas.com/index.html ). Originally we had booked [name edited] which is closer to the beach. But we heard that it had been a target for attacks and quickly changed to Eternity Villa which apparently has great security and has never had an incident.

Originally, I chose Mt Irvine because I know it well and love it! I wanted my wife and son to be able to walk down to the beach if they want while I am working in the day (we will have a car too though, so they can drive).

But in light of the stories I have now been reading, I dont think I want them walking alone down to the beach??? We are also looking into getting a security guard at the property for nights and possibly even 24 hours?? My wife will spend allot of the day in the garden and by the pool with my son and I am not sure if maybe its a good idea to have a guard??

Finally, even though I have paid a deposit, I would change accomodation at the drop of a hat if I did not feel that its the safest place to be.

What is everyone's opinion??
Is there a better area for us to be in? If so, can anybody recommend any other accomodation. Bare in mind its for a few months, so not too exorbatent, but we dont have a problem paying alot for something nice and of course for safety, which you cannot put a price on!!

Would love to get anyone's opinion please. Even though I lived in Tobago for 8 months, it was a long time ago, and it seems like even though not much has changed, security is now a different issue!

Thanks in advance!

(Leave for Tobago on Aug 23rd!!! YIPPEEEEEE)

User avatar
Steve Wooler
myTobago Editor & Chief Anorak
myTobago Editor & Chief Anorak
Posts: 4761
Joined: Sun Apr 21, 2002 11:00 pm
Location: Suffolk, England
Contact:
Great Britain

Post by Steve Wooler » Sun Aug 19, 2007 11:56 am

Hello Ryan

Welcome aboard! :lol:

Security is always a difficult issue to comment on because it is largely about perception of safety rather than actual threat. Where did you get your information about this property being "a target for attacks"?

In truth I would ignore the comments of any owners/agents because you will invariably find the comments highly biased. Mount Irvine has been the centre of a number of burglaries over recent years. I have seen no evidence to suggest that any particular villa/property has been constantly targetted - with the possible exception of the villa used by the Language School before it closed early this year after a particularly nasty attack. That property was only targetted because of the imprudence of some of the students who stayed there and who thought nothing of going out, getting drunk and then returning with local pick-ups, some of whom use this technique to "case joints".
Last edited by Steve Wooler on Sun Aug 19, 2007 2:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Steve Wooler
myTobago.info - the definitive Visitor Guide to Tobago

Ryan W

Post by Ryan W » Sun Aug 19, 2007 12:50 pm

Hi Steve

Thanks for your reply.
After readung so many of your posts, its great to finally "talk" to you!

Thanks for running such a great site and forum!

I would rather not single out who told me about [name edited] being a target, and I guess that its probably wrong to mention the name of the Villa and unfair to the owner. In fact, is there any chance you could erase the name of the villa's from my previous post and this one?

Do you know the "targetted" Villa? Do you know the one we have now booked in?

What are your comments about my wife walking to the beach with my son? Also, if you were me, would you stay in the Villa we have booked in or would you rather be in another area?

Would you get a security guard?

I dont want to put you on the spot and hold you to anything, but rather just get your honest comments so we can make an informed decision.

Thanks!

Ryan

David Watkins
Bude Cool Boy
Bude Cool Boy
Posts: 2009
Joined: Sat Nov 01, 2003 12:12 pm
Location: Bude Cornwall uk
Contact:
Cornwall

Post by David Watkins » Sun Aug 19, 2007 1:52 pm

Ryan.Tobago is not South Africa ,Cuba, Dom Rep etc.Don't fret.You have more chance of being attacked by a rabbied chicken than anything else.Just take the normal precautions.
David

User avatar
Steve Wooler
myTobago Editor & Chief Anorak
myTobago Editor & Chief Anorak
Posts: 4761
Joined: Sun Apr 21, 2002 11:00 pm
Location: Suffolk, England
Contact:
Great Britain

Post by Steve Wooler » Sun Aug 19, 2007 1:59 pm

Hi Ryan

I have edited the name out as requested. I think this is only fair - unless we are convinced that the information you were given is true. Sad to say, I have heard a lot of stories of Mt Irvine villa owners "bad-mouthing" other villas in their desperate search to get bookings for an area that has been badly hit in recent years. I hope this is not the case here. For similar reasons, I would prefer not to comment on the security of the property you have chosen. All I can suggest is that you study all the reports in this Health & Security forum and form your own opinions of what might be "safe" or not.

As I say, it is largely a matter of perception - and, of course, different people have different views on what constitutes "safe". Sorry, I'm not evading your questions, but if you are as concerned as you appear, then maybe you should be looking at a gated secure property somewhere away from the Mt Irvine area.
Steve Wooler
myTobago.info - the definitive Visitor Guide to Tobago

Patrick

Post by Patrick » Tue Sep 04, 2007 4:21 pm

I'm sure it isn't your intention, Steve but you have me a little worried...

We are going to Tobago at the end of October and are staying in the Mount Irvine area...

Is it any worse than the rest of the island? If so, why?

Also, you may recall that my wife and I were to be training for the London Marathon and were looking at running routes.

Well, she has now got a stress fracture so that will put paid to her running. However, she will be out of the plaster and walking (for rehab and exercise) most mornings. Do you think she will be OK on her own for this? Is walking in shorts OK or seen to be an issue / provocative?

Don't want to scaremonger but I do need to know that she / we will be OK.

Thanks...

User avatar
Steve Wooler
myTobago Editor & Chief Anorak
myTobago Editor & Chief Anorak
Posts: 4761
Joined: Sun Apr 21, 2002 11:00 pm
Location: Suffolk, England
Contact:
Great Britain

Post by Steve Wooler » Tue Sep 04, 2007 4:35 pm

Hi Patrick

I'm sorry, but nobody can give you guarantees of 'safety' - neither in Banbury or Tobago. It is true that the villas on Mount Irvine did come in for a bit of a bashing a few years back. Both the owners and the local police have got their act together a little more since then and regular patrols and tighter security in the villas appear to have had a major impact. However, Mount Irvine is still home to some of the most luxurious property on the island, so will naturally be more attractive to burglars than less afluent areas.

Sorry to hear of your wife's injury. Everyone wears shorts in Tobago, so that is not an issue. To be honest, I'm not sure what to say about the advisability of her walking around the area. During the daytime, it should not be a problem - anymore than over here. However, the chances are that there will be more than one or two local lads who stop and try to chat her up. Harmless, 99.9% of the time - as here.
Steve Wooler
myTobago.info - the definitive Visitor Guide to Tobago

Patrick

Post by Patrick » Mon Sep 17, 2007 12:30 pm

Hello Steve,

Thanks for the reply. I understand that safety can't be guaranteed anywhere. I was just a little concerned that Mount Irvine might be a more risky area than others. In general, I'm not worried as we have run in some 'interesting' places, including Mombasa and Egypt (where we were threatened by a pack of dogs!!)...

Still very much looking forward to going...(actually I can't wait!!)

Cheers,

Patrick

Post Reply

Return to “Health & Security”