British MP: Update travel advisory

CAROL MARTINDALE, carolmartindale@nationnews.com

Added 23 March 2013

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A British MP has called on the Foreign Office to warn travellers that Barbados is “not a safe place” until the local police properly investigate the rape of two British women. Stevenage MP Steven McPartland said Barbados police should reopen the rape cases where Dr Rachel Turner, of Hertfordshire and Diane Davies, of Anglesey, were raped at the same location at Holetown Beach within days of each other in 2010. Police here had arrested Derek Crawford but both women went to court and said he was not the man who had raped them. The case was dismissed last December but the women have been persistent in their calls for the police to re-open the investigation while being highly critical of the original investigation. In an interview with the BBC McPartland, who is also Dr Turner's MP, stated: "I firmly believe that Barbados is not a safe place for British women to travel to as there is a rapist on the loose. The police have failed to reopen the case and they have failed to get Rachel justice. "The Foreign Office should update their travel advice and make it clear that Barbados is not a safe place to travel and warn British tourists to stay away. "Maybe then, the authorities in Barbados will make the police reopen the case and find this rapist." He added that the Barbados authorities needed "to apologise to Rachel publicly, reopen the case and find the rapist". He stated that the Foreign Office minister with responsibility for the Caribbean Mark Simmonds had told him he would be raising the issue with the Barbados government when he visited the country later in the year. Dr Turner, who has been very vocal about the police investigation, welcomed McPartland's intervention. "I appreciate the support. It is outrageous they (authorities in Barbados) have swept it under the carpet," she said. This development follows last week’s shooting and robbery of a British couple which has resulted in the British Government advising its citizens to take particular care on their visits to Barbados because of a spike in muggings and robberies, some  involving the use of firearms and other weapons. When contacted today, Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite stated: “I have no comment to make on it.” (MB)

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