Tobago Business Chamber: ‘Why didn’t CoP meet with us on her visit?’

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Commissioner of Police Erla Harewood-Christopher – File photo by Lincoln Holder

THE TOBAGO Business Chamber has questioned why it was not included in a meeting with Police Commissioner Erla Harewood-Christopher during her visit to the island on March 13.

Harewood-Christopher met in a closed-door discussion with members of the Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce at its headquarters, Ansa McAl Building, Milford Road, Scarborough.

She did so as a follow-up to a request from the chamber, which, over the past few months, has been calling for a meeting with her to discuss the crime situation on the island. Tobago has already recorded six murders for 2024.

But the Tobago Business Chamber, chaired by attorney Martin George, were not at the meeting.

In a release on March 14, the Business Chamber said it was a legitimate business entity “incorporated as a non-profit organisation and…registered with the Companies Registry as the only Tobago-based and registered business chamber.

“We are not an offshoot of a Trinidad-based Chamber of Commerce. We are Tobago-originated, incorporated, managed and controlled from right here in Tobago,” it added.

The business chamber said it was, therefore, “more than passing strange that the CoP could come to Tobago and not meet with us, especially on the issue of rising crime and criminality in Tobago. We trust, however, that this oversight would be corrected by the commissioner’s office in the near future.”

Saying it has met with a slew of national and international bodies and organisations, the business chamber said it has also had audiences with an Indian High Commissioner, the Venezuelan Ambassador, representatives from the Inter-American Development Bank and a representative from the UN.

The chamber said it also became a member of the Confederation of Regional Chambers, which aligns it with the Fyzabad, Tunapuna, Sangre Grande, and Pt Lisas/Couva Business Chambers.

“So there are lots of synergies and energies for us to explore and capitalise on.”

Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce president Curtis Williams said the meeting with Harewood-Christopher was private. But he said he would give the media a statement about the discussions on March 15.