Police issue safety tips for holiday season
The police are advising members of the public that, as the country enters the yuletide season, they should adopt safe practices and be very vigilant as they conduct business.
The police note that the increase in business and recreational activities usually attracts criminals who may seek to commit robberies and deceive unsuspecting patrons and consumers.
They say the constabulary force will continue to increase its presence on roads across the island to minimise attacks by criminals and also provide a quick avenue for persons to report suspicious activities.
Here are some of the ways in which members of the public can help the police to keep them safe this season:
* Ensure that valuable personal possessions (e.g. cash and high end electronic devices) are properly secured or concealed. If you intend to conduct business involving large amounts of cash with someone, feel free to do so at a police station or some other safe location.
* Avoid wearing excessive jewellery, particularly gold, especially when walking in areas with high pedestrian traffic.
* Always ensure that your house and car keys are easily accessible to minimise the time it takes to enter homes and vehicles.
* Walk in well-lit areas and avoid walking alone. If you think you are being followed, trust your instincts and proceed to a crowded area, maintain your vigilance, and seek assistance.
* Do not leave valuable items on motor vehicle seats or areas within the vehicle that make them visible to passers-by.
* Avoid taking large sums of money to/from the bank or directing employees to do so. Employ a reputable security service to handle deposits to financial institutions or seek the assistance of the police. Persons using Automated Teller Machines are also urged to be vigilant and protect their debit/credit card information.
* Travellers are urged to be alert at the airport and be mindful of people who are not legitimately authorised to load and unload vehicles or provide transportation. If you believe you are being followed, proceed to a busy location and contact the police immediately.
SAFETY AT HOME
* If you can, invest in safety features for your home. This may simply take the form of sturdy locks and doors, or more advanced home security systems.
* Be careful who has access to your home. Crafty robbers sometimes pose as household employees, such as gardeners and domestic helpers, then use the opportunity to steal items from your home.
* Since children might be home for the holidays, teach them not to speak to strangers and shout for help if they feel unsafe. Also, teach them to never give out personal information and how to contact the police.
* When taking public transportation, especially taxis, always remember to note the license plate number, colour and make of the vehicle. Always let someone you trust know when you board a taxi and share this information with them. Be wary of drivers who ask you to divert from planned routes.
* Taxi drivers are also being warned to be alert and lookout for criminals who pose as genuine passengers, avoid carrying groups of men and be wary of passengers who ask you to divert.
* Do not drink and drive. Have a designated driver when you attend events in case you consume excessive alcohol. Also ensure your vehicles are properly secured at these events.
* Obey all the road codes when travelling and comply with the instructions of the police.