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Tourists and cops clash

ST. JOHN’S — The Head of the Criminal Investigations Department, Superintendent Nuffield Burnette, has defended the police’s action following strong public criticism over the handling of three rowdy cruise tourists in Heritage Quay last week.

Several people, including eyewitnesses over the weekend said they felt the police had treated the tourists favourably.

“I don’t know the facts (of the case) but I remember we had a similar situation some time ago and they said the police shouldn’t have charged the tourists. So you damned if you do and your damned if you don’t,” Burnette said.

“I myself would have been really disappointed if the officers did not do their job, because tourist or otherwise, it doesn’t matter. The police are meant to do their job without fear or favour,” he added.

The Shipwreck Shop in Heritage Quay was the scene of a fight, on Friday, between two police officers and three cruise passengers.

Reports are that the visitors, who arrived on Adventure of the Seas, went into the store and while browsing their child broke an item valued at less than US $5.

When informed of the store’s “You break it, you pay for it” policy, the parents refused to pay for the item.

Reports are that the tourists attempted to walk off after which police officers intervened. It was at this time the alleged fight took place and the tourists allegedly assaulted the police officers, according to some eyewitnesses.

However, the visitors were not charged and were allowed to return to the cruise ship.

Burnette said he would be looking into the details of the incident to ensure that the two police officers involved acted appropriately. (Antigua Observer)

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