Session I: Regional Initiatives on Tourist Safety and Security THE CENTRAL AMERICAN EXPERIENCE PRESENTATION BY Jorge Rojas Vargas, General Director OF THE JUDICIAl investigation ORGANISATION OF Costa Rica AND CHAIRMAN OF THE cOMMISSION OF POLICE CHIEFS AND DIRECTORS OF CENTRAL AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN [pic] Historical account Creation ? November 1994 as the Association of Police Chiefs of Central America. ? July 1998 – the Dominican Republic is incorporated. ? September 23, 2001 – no longer referred to as the Association but instead as the Commission of Police Chiefs and Directors of Central America and the Caribbean.
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At present Comprises the following countries: ? Panama ? Judicial Technical Police ? National Police ? Costa Rica ? Judicial Investigation Organisation ? Police Force (Ministry of Security) ? Nicaragua: National Police ? El Salvador: National Civil Police ? Honduras: Preventive Police of Honduras ? Guatemala: National Civil Police ? Belize: Belize Police Force ? Haiti: National Police ? Dominican Republic: National Police ? Puerto Rico: Puerto Rican Police Observers ? Mexican Federal Agency of Investigations (AFI) ? Preventive Police of Mexico ? BKA of Germany ? AECI Spanish Agency for International Co-operation ?
Association of Caribbean Commissioners of Police (ACCP) ? French Police ? Interpol (Sub-headquarters in El Salvador) Overall Objective Strengthen relations among the various Police bodies in Central America and the Caribbean, other police bodies in observer countries and others, for the purpose of pooling efforts in the fight against crime and organised crime both nationally and internationally. Specific Objectives ? Ensure the wellbeing of the Police officers that form part of the various police institutions in the Region, providing and promoting co-operation and mutual assistance, particularly in cases of emergency and disasters. Promote the prevention, repression and neutralisation of crime in Central America and the Caribbean in all its aspects, which by its very nature and action, affects the society within the Region. ? Facilitate international technical assistance, training, equipment and the exchange of information. REGIONAL TOURIST SAFETY PLAN FOR CENTRAL AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN (HAITI, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC AND PUERTO RICO) Presentation of Motives Central America including Panama and Belize, covers an area measuring 522,299 square kilometres and has an estimated population of 33 million.
Tourism is currently the primary source of foreign exchange revenue in half of those countries (1/3 of the regional GDP). A lack of tourist safety leads to an absence of tourists, particularly international tourists, thereby affecting the economy of a specific country, since it contributes to the elimination of goods or resources for tourists or service providers; the loss of markets for service providers; losses for insurance companies; the loss of jobs for employees of the tourism industry; reductions in State revenue and sometimes the loss of human life.
Internationally: Cancellation of contracts between wholesalers and providers; serious warnings on the consular websites of tourist generating countries; the perception of a lack of security that persists even though it has been reversed; high investments to reverse the perception of a lack of security. Today’s tourist demands safety regardless of the variety of destinations visited. If there is no safety analysis conducted in advance, a tourist is likely to refrain from visiting a specific country or place.
Therefore, the safety analysis in the tourism sector, from the point of view of the institutions responsible for public safety, must be based on the realities encountered by the tourism industry at the moment a tourist safety plan is being implemented. Background ? First Regional Tourist Safety Congress held in Costa Rica on October 10 to 12, 2006. Experts and representatives of the police bodies of the region. Conclusion reached: “Tourism has been one of the primary sources of revenue and foreign exchange in the countries of the region, an aspect that warrants the strengthening of capabilities in tourism industry infrastructure and other ervices that would facilitate tourists’ stay, in addition to selling and promoting the region as a tourist destination, creating conditions of public safety that would generate the confidence necessary”. ? 18th Extraordinary Meeting of the Commission in Puerto Rico ? 16th Ordinary Meeting of the Commission in Nicaragua ? 1st Tourist Safety Congress ? 19th Extraordinary Meeting of the Commission in Costa Rica Courses of Action suggested at the Tourist Safety Congress ? Training ? Prevention ? Handling of complaints and following up of serious cases (offences, homicides, others) ?
Information and advice for tourists ? Verification of services Purpose By formulating this Regional Plan, the following is pursued: A. Be able to provide the tourist with effective safety. B. Implement police actions that would allow the identification, prevention, repression and investigation of any type of crime against tourists and service operators. C. Consolidate the Tourism Industry so that the region could be perceived as a reliable destination, at both the national and international levels, guaranteeing tourist safety. Overall Objective
Strengthen tourist safety within the region, protecting national and foreign tourists, their belongings, tourist routes and tourist destinations, assisting and advising them when emergencies arise, by planning and executing tactics, methods and effective techniques. Specific Objectives According to their region, each participating country must: 1. Reduce the rate of crimes committed against national and foreign tourists (creation of Tourist Police units or divisions). 2. Reduce the crime rate on tourist routes and at tourist sites. . Improve the national and international perception of Tourist Safety in the region. 4. Consolidate the tourist police model with participation from all sectors of the tourism industry of the region. 5. Expand police coverage in the various tourist destinations of its region. 6. Acquire the means, technical equipment and human resources necessary to efficiently carry out the police efforts involved in tourist safety. 7. Continually train the personnel directly involved in tourist safety. Strategic Objectives 1.
Periodically exchange experiences among the tourist police of the region through seminars, conferences and workshops. 2. Prepare and obtain a regional budget for the effective functioning of the tourist police, by seeking financing with international agencies and organisations. 3. Implement rapid communication mechanisms between the Tourist Police Divisions of the region and the tourism sector (companies and others). 4. Conduct regional studies to identify the critical areas in tourist destinations, which would guide decision making based on the respective assessments.
Regional Policies 1. Tourist safety is recognised as a priority objective that is of both national and international interest and which helps to raise the region’s level of development. 2. Co-responsibility is promoted as well as participation from the private sector and the population in general, in the fight against crime in tourist destinations. 3. Efforts are undertaken to develop and coordinate inter-institutional projects aimed at improving the effectiveness of tourist safety within the region. Courses of Action 1. In the area of training: ? Tourism Culture. Tourism Legislation. ? Police Doctrine and Ethics. ? Human Rights. ? Relations with the community. ? Human Relations and Communication Techniques. ? Foreign Languages. ? Manifestations and Evolution of Organised Crime. ? Safety on Roadways. ? Tourist Safety. ? Gender Policy. ? History and Geography of Central America and the Caribbean. ? Generalities of the free movement of persons and their belongings. ? Care in the event of Natural Disasters. ? Intelligence and Police Investigations. ? First Aid. ? Use of computer equipment and the Internet 2. In the area of prevention: Promote information and dissemination campaigns targeting tourists, in order to provide them with all aspects related to prevention so that they could avoid falling victim to any type of illicit activity; incorporate into said campaigns aspects associated with traffic rules and road signage and include agents in the training. ? Prepare brochures on procedures and preventive guidelines for the tourists who visit the region so as to provide them with information of interest. ? Include in national plans, the allocation of the resources necessary for effective tourist safety in places with a large tourist presence. . Handling of complaints and reports: ? Improve the quality of the service provided when receiving complaints or reports made by Tourists, striving for the interview to be done in a speedy and timely fashion. ? Incorporate common variables into the report forms so as to facilitate the exchange of information among police bodies, in addition to which said forms should be in both Spanish and English. ? Coordinate with the judicial authorities in order to give continuity to the following up of the report, complaint or action filed by tourists when they have been victims of a crime. Ensure that the statement of the victim is received as evidence taken in advance, in his/her language and place of lodging. ? In order to provide the tourist with an efficient service when affected by crimes or traffic accidents, the relevant coordination efforts must be carried out with the bodies necessary and prompt procedures established so that the tourist feels satisfied and in cases where he/she has left any country that is participating in this plan, alternatives must be sought with the embassies of origin in order for feedback to be provided. 4. Information, guidance and advice for the tourist: . Implement a tourist support call centre in each Country (only number in the national domain). 2. Establish a common technological platform at strategic points that would facilitate quick and timely access to information of interest, as well as the exchange of such information. 3. Intensify campaigns to disseminate safety conditions within the region. 5. Verification of tourist services ? Boost sanitary surveillance in tourist destinations and the monitoring of food and beverages, especially during peak seasons and at places with greater tourist presence. Verify tourist service and complementary operations regarding the information and safety provided to the tourist. Specific courses of action of the Tourist Police 1. Posting of tourist police officers at all tourist destinations in each participating country. 2. Exchange of information online among the tourist police within the region, via the Internet. 3. Tourism training by police institutions for the social media, for the purpose of reporting constantly on the positive results achieved in the area of tourist safety. . Immediate feedback provided to the police prevention system and in the area of investigation regarding cases of crimes against tourists. 5. Implementation of a 24 hour telephone number for each Tourist Police department in the Region. 6. Application of the concept of Community Police, by the Tourist Police. 7. Coordinate with each country’s investigating units, the investigation of crimes committed against tourists regardless of the degree of severity of the crime, in addition to the respective follow up of cases. 8.
Gathering of information by the tourist police to be transferred to investigators. 9. Protect, assist and advise tourists and ensure the protection of their belongings, which may be jeopardised for any reason. Regional Insurance Programmes 1. Return of items and valuables taken. 2. Payment of accommodation and meals due to a lack of resources. 3. Travel assistance as well as legal, medical and telephone assistance, in addition to assistance in terms of methods of payment (debit card). Technical police instructions 1. Maintain and re-establish as the case may be, order and public safety. . Prevent crimes from being committed and prevent them from yielding further consequences. 3. Apprehend persons by legal order or in cases of flagrant crimes, place them at the disposal of the competent authorities. 4. Ensure compliance with general laws and provisions pertaining to tourist safety, executing the orders received from the competent authorities in their respective countries. 5. Promote co-responsibility and participation from the population of each country in the fight against crime that affects national and international tourism.
General Guidelines 1. The President of the Commission of Police Chiefs and Directors of Central America and the Caribbean is appointed as the individual directly responsible for coordinating and implementing this Regional Plan. 2. The Heads of the Tourist Police Divisions in each country shall include in their NATIONAL TOURIST SAFETY PLAN objectives and policies that would facilitate effective coordination with this plan, independent of the socio-cultural characteristics and particularities of each participating country. 3.
There must be synchronisation between national plans and the regional plan, which would allow the region to be offered as a tourist destination that would help to generate sound levels of safety for tourists from outside the region as well as national tourists. 4. In order to periodically evaluate the results of this regional plan, at least two statistical models must be prepared that would compile regional information on the tourists affected or involved in crimes, with said models being linked to particularities of interest such as nationality, location, etc. 5.
All participating entities shall ensure the safety of tourists, preventing any attempted crimes against them. 6. Respect for Human Rights shall prevail as well as strict compliance with the laws in force in the Countries of the Region. 7. In order to counteract the reaction of criminals, techniques shall be applied in police operations to record and partially immobilise criminals and suspects. Said techniques are outlined in the manuals on police methodology. 8. The officials responsible for enforcing the law shall not commit acts of corruption and shall be rigorously opposed to all of such acts and shall fight against them. . Any aspect not included in this plan shall be resolved by the Commission of Police Chiefs and Directors of Central America and the Caribbean. General Mission for each country Following the approval of this plan, each participating country, with the human and logistical resources at its disposal, will formulate and execute its respective national plan taking into account the objectives and courses of action outlined in this plan, as well as the geographic and sociological characteristics and criminal modus operandis. Approval of the plan
Was presented and discussed during the 20th Extraordinary Meeting convened in Guatemala, on March 26-29, 2007 and was again submitted for consultation once the changes proposed by each member country of the Commission were incorporated. The plan was duly approved on June 1, 2007. Organisational Structure of several Tourist Police Departments in Central America Guatemala: Honduras: ? Personnel and equipment: [pic] ? Location: [pic] El Salvador: Tourist Police Division Projection of Resources for Tourist Safety | |Currently |Projection Dec. 008 | |Expense Headings |May 2006 | | |Operating Personnel: |92 |99 |740 |830 | |Administrative Personnel: |7 | |90 | | |Transport Equipment (various types) |3 | |223 | |Staff Training: |99 | |830 | |Care and Security Centres on Beaches: |0 |10 |10 | |Care and Security Centres on Mountains |1 |9 |9 | |Mobile Tourist Security Posts: |2 | |26 | |Police Units on Wheels: |0 |18 |18 | |Total Centres, Posts and Security Units | |63 |63 | |Financial Resources Required to Develop the National Tourism Project of the Millennium, | | |2006 to 2008 (for 3 years). |$11,581,045. 6 | |Annual Average:=====( $3,860,348. 39 | | |Monthly Average:===( $ 321,695. 70 | | |ANNUAL BREAKDOWN OF |2006 |2007 |2008 | |RESOURCES |$3,976,682. 08 |$7,737,811. 48 |$11,581,045. 16 | Costa Rica: ? Organisational Structure [pic] ? Regional Offices:
Total: 10 Regional Offices 91 Police Delegations (DELTAS) ? Regionalisation: Plan and execute regular prevention and response strategies and operations, according to regional needs, so as to maintain public order and the safety of inhabitants, their belongings and respect for their fundamental rights and freedoms. [pic] Nicaragua: Proposed Organisational Chart for the Nicaragua Tourist Police [pic] OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE REPUBLIC – JUSTICE DEPARTMENT OF COSTA RICA THE JUDICIARY PILOT PLAN TO REDUCE IMPUNITY IN TOURIST ZONES Procedures Established in the Pilot Plan to reduce impunity in the tourist zones of Costa Rica 1.
Unless another more serious crime needs to be handled, the vehicle of the Justice Department assigned to the Office of the Attorney General of Bribri, will be used on weekends to transport the Judge, the Prosecutor and the Public Defence Attorney available, to Puerto Viejo, Cahuita or Manzanillo, as is necessary, to take the report and – in applying the procedure for pre-trial evidence – take the statement of the tourist offended and the tourists appearing as witnesses to the offence, so as to have valid evidence for future debate. 2. CATUR will donate a video camera to the Court of Bribri, for the specific purpose of documenting the pre-trial evidence in cases of crimes against tourists. 3. In Puerto Viejo, Cahuita as well as Manzanillo, the members of CATUR will provide the facilities to carry out the task of obtaining pre-trial evidence, with the privacy and security necessary. 4.
CATUR will donate to the Justice Department, a specific amount of gasoline to cover the cost of transporting judicial officials in said conditions on weekends. However, as long as needs can be met with a suitable budget, then those resources will be used. The use of the fuel provided will be adjusted to the regulation issued for that purpose. 5. In order to follow up the advancements made and the results achieved, the authorities involved will issue a report every two months to the Office of the Attorney General, so that the Supreme Court could in turn be notified. San Jose, March 8, 2007. ———————– San Carlos Group Uniformed (12) Intelligence (02) Coordinator Intelligence Operations and Analysis
Logistics and Liaisons Coordinator Staff and Training Coordination of the Tourist Police Regional Offices Police Force Head Office ?????????????????? Head of the Tourist Police Office Tourist Safety Dept. District Tourist Police Tourism Operations Dept. Sub-Office – Prevention Area Limon Group Uniformed (12) Intelligence (02) Charotega Group Uniformed (26) Intelligence (02) Punta Arenas Group Uniformed (12) Intelligence (02) San Jose Group Uniformed (12) Intelligence (02) Patrulla de Caminos Group Uniformed (14) Intelligence (02) COVERAGE OF DISETUR-PNC TOURIST POLICE ORGANISATIONAL CHART, HONDURAS Presence of Tourist Safety Delegations 1. – JEFATURA 22 ELEMENTS . – MOVIL, 24 ELEMENTS 3. – ANTIGUA GUATEMALA 40 ELEMENTS 4. – SAN VICENTE PACAYA 18 ELEMENTS 5. – LANQUIN 15 ELEMENTS 6. – PANAJACHEL 36 ELEMENTS 7. – CHICHICASTENANGO 17 ELEMENTS 8. – MONTERRICO 15 ELEMENTS 9. – RIO DULCE 13 ELEMENTS 10. – LIVINGSTON 15 ELEMENTS 11 REMATE 33 ELEMENTS 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 10 11 1 9 SECRETARIA DE SEGURIDAD SAFETY SECRETARIAT . DIRECCION POL. PREV. . PREVENTIVE POLICE OFFICE SUBDIRECCION POLICIA COMUNITARIA COMMUNITY POLICE SUB-OFFICE TELA TELA LA CEIBA LA CEIBA I. DE LA BAHIA I. DE LA BAHIA S. P. S . S. P. S . DIVISION POLICIA DE TURISMO TOURIST POLICE DIVISION TEGUCIGALPA TEGUCIGALPA COPAN COPAN COMAYAGUA COMAYAGUA