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Cops to ensure safety of citizens during Christmas season

Published:Friday | December 9, 2016 | 12:00 AMJason Cross
Police patrolling a section of Kingston to ensure the safety of Christmas shoppers last year.

The Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) is seeking to assure the public that the police will be out in their numbers throughout the festive season, doing all they can to provide a safe and enjoyable experience for citizens.

The police also warned persons to be very mindful of their own safety as criminals, at this time of year, increase their efforts to deprive citizens of their valuables.

Superintendent Stephanie Lindsay, who is in charge of the corporate communications unit of the JCF, was adamant that children's safety is a major focus for the December period. She promised that parents guilty of placing their children in danger would face prosecution.

"We are very big on children's safety. For this season, children should not be left unsupervised at all. Persons should not leave their children unattended and go to dance and parties. If the police are aware of it, the parents will be prosecuted. We don't want situations where kids are burnt in homes or molested because they are unsupervised," Lindsay told The Gleaner.

"When we talk about supervised, children cannot supervise children. (They) have to be left with a responsible adult."

Lindsay also shared a number of tips for person to consider, especially at this time of year.

She said larceny usually increases during all the festivities and warned against carelessness.

"Persons tend to spend more at Christmas time. Persons who would not normally be coming out to shop with money during the year, they are coming out at Christmas time. Some persons are not very alert and make simple mistakes, like taking out their money in public, wearing expensive jewelry and going into certain areas," Lindsay stressed.

 

TIPS FOR CHRISTMAS SHOPPERS

 

- Glance in your mirror from time to time to see if you are being followed; if so, you should drive to the nearest police station - never drive home directly.

- Try not to take the same route home every day.

- When on the road, keep your vehicle locked so persons cannot jump in while you are in traffic.

- When shopping, don't put the purchased items on the car seat where they are visible. Instead, use the trunk of the vehicle.

- Using debit and credit cards is recommended, but persons using cards are asked to pay keen attention so no one tampers with it.

- When using automated banking machines, be very observant for anything out of place - like extra cameras unscrupulous persons may install to steal card information.

- If you are being robbed, make a loud enough noise to allow other persons know that you are in danger. Look out for distinctive marks present on you attacker that would be useful to identify him or her.

- Check if vehicles are involved in the robbery. This is the perfect time to use the Stay Alert app. The police will be sending out regular advisories via the app.

- Ensure that trees are cut so visibility level of the premises is clear.

- Ensure that homes are well lit. Dusk-to-dawn lights are recommended, as a burglar who sees the light on in the day for a number of days will pick up that no one is at home.

- Family members should be on standby to check on homes during your absence. There should be no indicators that the family is not at home, so arrangements should be made for mail to be retrieved.

- When heading out, you should inform someone where you are going, and what you are wearing. They should also know who you are out with.

- When disposing of boxes, destroy them and put them in bags before throwing them away. Don't put the empty boxes outside, because it indicates to housebreakers exactly what is inside.

- Carpooling is recommended so as to ease the level of congestion on the roads.