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Jun 28, 2019

ComPol Calls for Stringent Background Checks for Licensed Guides

Chester Williams

On Thursday, we told you about new security measures, including surveillance cameras, as well as the hiring of special constables to be implemented in San Pedro. Those new plans were outlined by Commissioner of Police Chester Williams at a public meeting held on the island on Wednesday night. These new preventative measures are being introduced in the wake of the killings of tour guide Mario Graniel and American citizen Doctor Gary Swank. Swank was a tourist who was out fly-fishing with Graniel when they were both murdered on Sunday. As you’ve heard this week, the authorities reported that Swank was a casualty of a feud between Graniel and criminal figures on the island. During that meeting, Williams called for more stringent guidelines to be used when issuing tour guide licenses. Here’s how he explained it.


Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police

“I believe that it is also important that we take a more serious look at tour guides. I believe that we should do more background checks on our tour guides. We don’t want to find ourselves in a situation where maybe because of actions of tour guides that our innocent tourists would end up getting hurt. So, I believe that will require some level of more security checks and I would hope that the tour guide association would agree with us where this is concerned. The police record yes is good but it doesn’t speak truly of a person’s criminal history because if it is that you have been accused of committing a crime or having been arrested for committing a crime, if you are not convicted the police record is not going to reflect that.   We need to take a much deeper look at those types of persons. And if it is that those persons want to be tour guides or tour operators, then we would expect that they would conduct themselves in certain fashion to ensure the safety of those persons that they carry around.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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