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GVB to increase VSO presence in light of recent crimes against tourists

September 10, 2018 Tourist Boards No Comments Email Email

The Guam Visitors Bureau (GVB) has announced that it will be increasing its Visitor Safety Officer (VSO) presence in Tumon in light of recent crimes that have targeted tourists.

“Tourism is the life blood of our economy and when these criminal acts are committed by a few, it affects the livelihood of thousands that work in our number one industry,” said GVB President and CEO Nathan Denight. “That’s why we’re increasing our VSOs to deter crime in our tourist district. Safety of our island residents and visitors is our top priority and something we take very seriously when we promote Guam.”

The Bureau is looking to increase the number of officers and coverage within the Tumon area immediately. GVB is working with the Guam Police Department, Guam International Airport Authority, the Port Authority of Guam and other agencies to beef up enforcement efforts and deter crime.

“We need to inform every safety and security personnel in hotels to file complaints and stand by it. This will help identify and prevent these individuals from turning into repeat offenders,” said VSO Supervisor Paul Suba.

The VSO program started in October 2014 to enhance visitor relations as a concierge service and also act as a deterrent against crime in Tumon. GVB works hand-in-hand with G4S and GPD to monitor graffiti incidents, address illegal parking situations, encourage beach safety, and create a strong presence of safety for both island residents and visitors. In January 2016, GVB increased beach safety and security with VSOs manning new lifeguard watchtowers in the north side of Tumon Bay.

In Calendar Year 2017, VSOs responded to over 1,000 safety and security related issues that included homelessness, public intoxication, stray animals, water-related incidents, and other cases. They have also provided over 10,800 concierge services to include traffic assistance for pedestrians and motorists, giving directions, taking photos, and recovering lost property.

GVB recommends that if the public sees any suspicious people or activity to call GPD or the 911 Dispatch Center.

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