Mon | Oct 25, 2021

Safety tips this Christmas

Published:Monday | December 21, 2020 | 12:06 AM

The Jamaica Constabulary Force has offered bits of advice for the general public for a safe Christmas.

ROBBERY PREVENTION

. Ensure that valuable personal possessions (e.g., cash and high-end electronic devices) are properly secured or concealed. We encourage persons transporting large sums of cash to utilise cash escort services offered by private security companies.

. Thieves are utilising motorcycles and other vehicles to commit robberies. Be aware of your surroundings. Avoid using devices like earphones while commuting. Trust your judgement, if you feel there may be a threat, go somewhere safe such as your nearest police station.

. 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 go to the nearest police station, if possible.

. Do not leave valuable items on motor vehicle seats or areas within the vehicle that make them visible to passers-by.

. Persons using ATMs are also urged to be vigilant and protect their debit/credit card information. Avoid using ATMs in secluded areas.

. 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.

COVID-19 PREVENTION

. During the festive season, more persons may be out in public conducting business. So wear your mask and maintain your physical distance.

. Avoid contact with anyone who you suspect may be sick.

. Avoid touching your face, mask, eyes, nose and mouth.

. Travel can increase the chance of getting and spreading the virus that causes COVID-19. Staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others.

For family gatherings:

. Encourage guests to bring food and drinks for themselves and for members of their own household only. Avoid potluck-style gatherings.

. Wear a mask while preparing food for or serving food to others who don’t live in your household.

. Use single-use options or identify one person to serve sharable items, like salad dressings, food containers, plates, utensils and condiments.

. Consider and prepare for what you will do if you, or someone else, becomes sick during a family visit. What are the plans for isolation, medical care, basic care, and travel home? Remember, there is mandatory 14-day quarantine for guests arriving in the island.

SAFETY AT HOME

. Invest in safety features for your home, which may take the form of sturdy locks and doors, or more advanced home security systems such as alarms and CCTV cameras.

. Be careful who has access to your home. Crafty robbers sometimes pose as household employees, such as gardeners and domestic helpers, and then use the opportunity to steal items from your home.

. Since children will likely be at home for the holidays, teach them not to speak to strangers and to shout for help if they feel unsafe. Also, teach them to never give out personal information and how to contact the police.

TRANSPORTATION

. When taking public transportation, especially taxis, always remember to note the licence 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. Turn on your device location setting on smartphones.

. Taxi drivers are also being warned to look out for criminals who pose as genuine passengers. Do not divert from planned routes.

. Do not drink and drive, and ensure your vehicles are properly secured.

. Obey all road codes when travelling, and comply with the instructions of the police.