Quintana Roo authorities have begun to increase surveillance of beaches near the Cancun hotel zone after tourists were robbed at gunpoint at Isla Blanca beach last week.
According to eyewitnesses, 6 armed robbers entered the beach on jet-skis near the Extreme Zone Beach & Spa Hotel. They then began to threaten beachgoers, severely beating one man who refused to co-operate. This injured man has since been taken to hospital.
This is not the only violent attack against tourists this summer: last month saw several shootings at restaurants and accommodations in tourist areas in Quintana Roo state, including Playa Del Carmen and Tulum. Yesterday, the murder of two Canadian nationals was reported to take place in a vacation condo in Playa Del Carmen, and a number of shootings have also occurred at tourist-frequent restaurants in recent months.
The increased rate of violent crime has even propelled the U.S State Department to issue a new travel advisory for Cancun, asking tourists to exercise increased caution when travelling throughout Quintana Roo. More specifically, the U.S government has named kidnappings, homicide and petty theft as prominent crimes operating in the region.
To prevent incidents like this from happening again, Cancun police will connect surveillance cameras in tourist-heavy areas to the Ministry of Public Security’s C5 system.
The aim of this measure is to allow officers to observe areas where crime could potentially happen, which would help to deter criminals from threatening tourists.
Franciso Fernandez Millan, the president of the Nautical Associates of Quintana Roo, has expressed the need for additional surveillance of the seafront:
“We are inviting associates to connect to C5, thereby monitoring the beaches, which is a point of insecurity”.
The C5 system connects footage from police surveillance cameras to the Center for Control, Command, Communication, Computing and Quality (C5) of the Ministry of Public Security. It is hoped that the increased coverage the cameras give police will help to spot patterns of crime more quickly, and mark high-risk areas to protect tourists.
The inspiration behind connecting beach surveillance with a C5 system comes after the success Cancun authorities have had with local businesses doing the same. Last month, more than 100 local Cancun businesses close to beach areas connected with the police’s surveillance system, including hotels and shopping malls. The footage of entrance and exit points at each location allowed authorities to monitor criminal activity closely, massively deterring potential robberies or tourist attacks in the area.
In the short amount of time that the C5 initiative has been implemented, there has already been a significant decrease in robberies and attacks. This is set to reduce tourists’ concerns about Cancun being an unsafe summer destination.
Now, 30 more businesses have already signed an agreement with Quintana Roo authorities granting permission for police to observe their premises. This includes two nautical marinas and several tourist-frequented restaurants and cafes. Local authorities also plan to make use of police boats on Isla Blanca beach and the hotel zone, which will provide additional safety for concerned tourists and further deter crime from the beach.
Throughout the entire state of Quintana Roo, more than two thousand security cameras have now been installed and connected to the C5 system. This includes hundreds of private businesses operating in the public sector. With the clear display of success the C5 initiative has given, authorities will continue to install surveillance cameras with cooperative businesses to ensure that the amount of crime in tourist-heavy areas will decrease over the busy summer period.
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