The tourist police presence in the country is to be increased to strengthen the safety and security of tourists, The Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority said.
This was revealed during a meeting held between State Minister of Tourism Promotions Arundika Fernando and Acting IGP C.D. Wickramaratne. During the meeting it was discussed to establish tourist police posts at all popular tourist destinations from Colombo to down south.
To have a separate Tourist Police Unit at existing police stations and also to include the availability of female police officers at these posts ,The tourist Police officers to wear a jacket and/or a band to distinguish themselves as tourist police officers, the tourist police cadre is to be increased substantially to meet the safety requirements of the tourism industry, body cameras to be provided to be worn by the tourist police, were among the decisions taken during the meeting. 1912 to be used as the 24 hour Call Center number dedicated to tourism related complaints. Tourist police assistance is to be provided for hotels on request and to properties willing to provide space for a tourist police post in their premises.
To make it mandatory for all Tuk Tuk, taxi drivers including Uber and Pickme drivers to have a notice inside the vehicle with the photo of the driver’s name and identification number were some of the key recommendations. It was revealed that there were instances when serious issues had cropped up with regard to the safety of tourists due to the lack of a police presence. The Minister said that as per President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s manifesto annual tourism arrivals are expected to reach 7 million in the future. “ We believe these recommendations will help solve the existing issues related to safety and security of the tourists and the industry” the minister said.