JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) is urging citizens to be vigilant in their activities during the festive season.
  • Speaking at a recent JIS Think Tank, Head of the JCF Corporate Communications Unit (CCU), Superintendent Stephanie Lindsay, said criminals are using the busy shopping season to commit crimes.
  • Superintendent Lindsay is also encouraging persons who are changing out their appliances during the festive season to cut the boxes into small pieces and dispose of them in a garbage bag.

The Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) is urging citizens to be vigilant in their activities during the festive season.

Speaking at a recent JIS Think Tank, Head of the JCF Corporate Communications Unit (CCU), Superintendent Stephanie Lindsay, said criminals are using the busy shopping season to commit crimes.

She noted that the police are seeing an increase in cybercrimes and is encouraging persons using credit/debit cards to be alert and monitor their activities.

“While the banks are promoting a cashless system, we are seeing where criminals have been preparing themselves to take advantage of the increased use of credit cards and the electronic and online systems,” Superintendent Lindsay added.

She noted that criminals are attaching scanning devices to the card machines in stores and are walking around with gadgets that can interrupt card transactions to their benefit.

“When you do your Christmas shopping, if you are using an electronic method to pay, ensure that your card is in your sight because a lot of these cybercrime incidents are inside jobs… being fueled by someone within the organisation or establishment who is supporting a criminal network,” Superintendent Lindsay said.

She said shoppers should make sure that they scan their surroundings before entering an Automated Teller Machine (ATM) location, to ensure that they are not being followed.

She also encouraged persons to use the machines that are in a busy area, but noted that they should still exercise caution and beware of persons who are lurking around or behaving in a suspicious manner.

“If you notice persons who are supposed to be ahead of you in the ATM line not moving or making an attempt to use the machine, even when it’s their turn… leave the area and use another machine,” she advised.

For persons who will be away from home, she advises them not to leave their lights on as a security measure.

“This is a welcome sign to criminals. If a criminal passes your home on more than one occasion and sees your lights burning during the daytime, they will know that no one is really home and break in,” she explained.

She further added that a full or unattended mailbox over a period of time is another indication to criminals that no one is home.

She recommended that persons utilise the services of the community neighbourhood watch or get a close relative to make regular checks on the property.

Superintendent Lindsay is also encouraging persons who are changing out their appliances during the festive season to cut the boxes into small pieces and dispose of them in a garbage bag.

“Be security conscious so that no one can have information that could be used by those with criminal intent… if you are in receipt of goodies from overseas, cut or mark out the names and addresses written on the barrels,” she notes further.

Superintendent Lindsay urged parents not to leave children alone at home, and to minimise the use of cell phones on the road.

“The mobile phone is another magnet for thieves, hence these should be kept out of sight when not in use,” she notes.

Superintendent Lindsay further advised users to park in well-lit and busy areas and keep windows rolled up and doors locked.

She urged motorists to have their keys ready when approaching their vehicles, and to check the back seats before entering.

Superintendent Lindsay said the JCF will be out in their numbers to protect the citizens, especially during this season, but also encouraged the public to make security a personal responsibility.