Island Welcomes Force Back For First Time In Several Years
Isla Mujeres has announced that it has reinstated its Tourist Police Force for the Easter period. It’s the first time the island has had a specific police force for tourism in several years.
The popular island welcomed the force, named the Tourist Auxiliary Police, in a ceremony attended by local leaders and business people. It was decided by the local President that the time was right to bring back the specialized force and to help make Isla Mujeres as safe as possible for tourists.
The main reason spurring the decision was the huge influx of tourists over the week of Easter. Isla Mujeres is anticipating as many as 30 thousand visitors every day over the course of the week, marking a huge surge in business. But along with those numbers come safety concerns and other issues, so having a dedicated force to work with tourists is a good decision.
Most of the police force will be located downtown and on popular beaches with the principal goal of providing guidance and assistance for the visitors. The police officers tasked with the position were selected specifically based on their experiences and skill, with many of them speaking English to allow for ease of communication between them and the tourists. This is something many visitors struggle with within Cancun and beyond.
Local businesses have voiced their appreciation for the new police force, emphasizing the importance of fostering a safe environment for visitors to the island.
The island is located around 13km off the coast and is a popular day trip for many visitors to Cancun and other Quintana Roo tourist spots. Ferries run back and forth between the mainland every day.
However, it’s also an extremely popular destination in its own right and is known for having some of the best seafood in the region. Its extremely low violent crime rate makes it a safe bet for many and offers a relaxed experience for those visiting and choosing to stay on the island.
It’s for that reason that the new police force is most likely there for general guidance and support. It’s unlikely that many visitors to Isla Mujeres are going to experience anything traumatic in the way of crime, but knowing there are designated police officers there to assist with anything they need adds to the allure of the island.
At the moment it is unclear if the police force will continue after Easter week has concluded, or if it is a one-off situation to help with the large increase in visitors. Regardless, the island’s “Safe Holy Week” program is set to be a strong one.
Back on the coast, Cancun is dealing with hundreds of thousands of visitors. Instead of installing a tourist police force, the state has created a Tourist Security Battalion. The force made up of national guard soldiers is 6000 strong for the week of Easter. Again, it’s unclear if the high numbers will remain after this week, or return to 1500 that were previously assigned to the area.
The main purpose of this force is security for tourists. There has been a large uptick in violence directly related to organized crime, and it’s hoped that the presence of the soldiers will force the gangs to operate elsewhere. Tourists have not been the target of the gangs, but have found themselves caught in the crossfire on multiple occasions over the past few months.
With fewer gangs able to operate in popular areas, the safer the region will be for visitors. The government also launched an anti-drug campaign directed at tourists. The program, which has been met with some controversy, has been designed to scare visitors into understanding the consequences of drug use in the country.
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