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Columns : Preventative Measure - Gamal Newry Last Updated: Feb 6, 2017 - 2:32:04 PM

Protecting our Assets
By Gamal Newry
Jul 29, 2008 - 9:35:11 AM

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As the Romans conquered the known world one critical element continued to follow them as they expanded their territories, the ability to retain and secure their newly acquired assets. It is a widely agreed upon fact that new acquisitions demand investment into securing them. The Bahamas 's continued growing involvement in the tourist industry can be compared to the acquisition of new territories like the Romas gained as they progressed central and southern Europe even into Northern Africa . Even tough today we face different challenges the principals remain the same.

Before we continue it must be emphasized that in this investigation Preventatives Measures position is Loss Prevention issues and solutions, which for us equates to Asset Protection also known as security.  Crime and Terrorism are the loss agent as it pertains to this series of articles.  The asset being protected is the Bahamas remaining a viable tourist destination, inclusive of investor (internal and external) interest.
With this in mind in an April 2005 report Abadie and Gardeazabal titled 'Terrorism and the World Economy' write that from and economic stand point terrorism has four major fall outs;
  1. The capital Shock
  2. Uncertainty
  3. Redirecting Resource to Security Issues
  4. Negative Affect on Tourism
This being the case then it is fair to assume that the investor will direct his/her interest to the region that is least affected by crime and  terrorism.  This however is easier said than done as the general consensus with terrorism experts that the phenomenon is multinational and really knows no boarders. This definitely complicates matters, especially when we consider the fact, that just as the investor attempts stay away from potential high crime risk areas, the criminal element will be attracted to large scale investmentand percived economic boom. An attack on these locations and people will be most beneficial to the criminals objectives and the terrorist cause or statement.  This fact not only affected the decision of the foreign investor but also those of the domestic investor, additionally the small investor like the individual tourist will reconsider the trip to The Bahamas, thus bought local, foreign, small and big investor are affected. Similarly the resident will even now leavin their native land for a place percived to be less of a threat.
Jonathan Essner in 2003 for the World Tourism Organization – Security and Development, states that;
"The burden upon a state managing a terrorism problem may be enormous, serious and unmanageable , particularly as terrorists seem undeterred by an underdeveloped set of global norms and international laws against terrorism."
This idea is scary as suggested by Essner, but is it the reality of the situation, is the monster so big an unpredictable that we are going to be overwhelmed. It has become apparent that a more aggressive approach to combating terrorism is necessary, if are to be serious about prevention.  Three immediate steps should be taken, the first of which is to define the terrorist act specific to tourism, it is the absence in my opinion of a clear definitive explanation that has left the management of the threat wondering around aimlessly. Secondly, after this is done specific penalties / legislation that will codify all actions associated with tourism terrorist. Finally, an agency / department mandated to police this threat.  Sounds a bit far fetched you think? I then refer you to the 2000 Financial Intelligence Unit Act.  This newly formed policing agency was developed to monitor crime as it pertains to the financial services specifically money laundering.  The ease by which in my opinion that this unit was formed and legislated was primarily because of existing legislation which originated from clear local and international accepted definitions of what constituted financial crimes.
Does tourism need such a specific unit, if is the primary / fundamental 'bread and butter', industry, then the question should be why haven't we done so as of yet.  Again it is my opinion that the global community has not established a set standards or perquisites for one to open a tourist destination. Ironic isn't it we are ready to and well prepared to monitor our wealth and that of our guest, but not our personnel safety nor that of our visitors.

Gamal Newry is the President of Preventative Measures, a Loss Prevention and Asset Protection Training and Consulting Company, specializing in Policy and Procedure Development, Business Security Reviews and Audits, & Emergency and Crisis Management. Comments can be sent to P.O. Box N-3154 Nassau, Bahamas or, email gnewry@preventativemeasures. net   or visit us at www.preventativemeasures.net

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Preventative Measure - Gamal Newry
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