Chamber President Urges Proactive Measures

December 23, 2023 | 2 Comments

[Written by Don Burgess]

In the face of a surge in robberies targeting businesses in Bermuda, Marico Thomas, President of the Bermuda Chamber of Commerce and owner of the Four Star chain, advocates for proactive and non-violent security measures. Mr. Thomas’s call to action comes after his own businesses were struck twice by robbers, marking a worrying trend in the island’s crime landscape.

The Chamber president described the recent robberies and smash-and-grabs in Hamilton as a wake-up call for local businesses, highlighting the necessity of staying vigilant and adapting to changing circumstances. “We’ve been forced to reassess and strengthen our security protocols in light of these events,” Mr. Thomas said. Despite stringent safety measures, one of his stores was robbed of a minimal amount of cash, underscoring the effectiveness of their preventive strategies.

The rise in aggressive thefts, including incidents where burglars have smashed windows and doors to gain entry, has prompted some businesses in Hamilton to install barred doors, a measure Thomas views with concern. “I will publicly state that I am fighting really hard against that sort of progression, at least in our stores.

“It is absolutely not a fantastic look for the tourism of the international business environment. progress towards having to put bars on the doors and bars on the windows. That’s not really something that I would prefer to see in my professional life as a as an employer or business person nor as someone who uses a chamber. It’s just not the thing that we want to do. So we’ve got to find other solutions to try to address this,” he remarked.

As an influential figure in the business community, Mr. Thomas is firmly against the idea of business owners arming themselves. Instead, he advocates for alternative solutions like enhanced lighting, more police presence, the soon rollout of CCTV installations, banning dark visors, and encouraging cashless transactions. “Our focus is on creating a safe environment for our employees and customers without resorting to extreme measures,” he explained.

“What we really, really don’t want to see is weaponry starting to be held by the actual shop owners. I know of some people who will have a little something nearby just in case. God forbid that people start to have to defend themselves by getting something and start to swing.”

Mr. Thomas said the Chamber is actively seeking collaborative solutions to address Bermuda’s businesses’ security concerns. “We’re engaging with law enforcement and other stakeholders to develop comprehensive strategies that protect businesses while preserving our island’s welcoming nature.”

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Comments (2)

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  1. Chris says:

    Thomas gets robbed all of a sudden he wants to speak up. How much overseas workers does he employ,the bermudians he has are diversity hires.give these young man jobs.

  2. No bars! says:

    Went through Hamilton last night and many stores were lit up like they were open. This is an excellent deterrent. Maybe some of the proceeds from crime could help with their electricity bills because if not the increased operating cost will be passed on to consumers.

    Maybe police on duty can drive around and around but SLOWLY so they can observe.

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