Officials hope to double the number of tourism police

Members of the Policía Turistica stand by their new machines during a ceremony of delivery Tuesday. The force is part of the Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía y Seguridad Pública.

The national tourism police now have 19 new off-road motorcycles, 12 new radios and 650 new uniforms after a 75 million colons investment by the Instituto Costarricense de Turismo. The tourism police also plan to have 50 new tourist police added to their ranks by 2012. The specialized force hopes to have 600 officers patrolling areas of high-tourism activity. Now the force has just over 300 patrolling these areas. The Institute reports that over the
past several years the number of reported incidents against tourists has fallen 8 percent.

The Minister of Tourism Allan Flores said the tourism industry, contributes thousands of jobs and accounts for a significant sector of national economy. He said it is important to ensure visitors have a safe visit to the country. He said even if a destination in the world has the most beautiful wonders, prettiest beaches and attractions, if it doesn’t have security it can’t share them with the world.

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