The Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) is urging citizens to be extra vigilant as they go about their various activities during the festive season.
Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) at the Community Safety and Security Branch, Stephanie Lindsay, said that there is usually an increase in robberies, assaults, road crashes, fraudulent activities and house breakings during this period and so it is important that persons take precautions to minimize risk to their lives and property.
DSP Lindsay, who was addressing a JIS Think Tank on Tuesday December 11, provided some tips on how citizens can remain safe during the holiday season.
“When you go to do your shopping we are urging persons, as much as you can, do not take cash, because cash is something that is very attractive to the eyes of criminals. Persons are of the habit of taking out large sums of cash in public places and this draws attention, so where you can use a credit or debit card, we encourage you to do so,” she stated.
She said that persons should also be on guard when using Automated Teller Machines (ATM)), especially at nights, and to observe the surroundings carefully.
“Make sure that the one that you use is in a well lit area. Also, if you see persons there that your instincts tell you are not there for legitimate business, do not use that machine; go to another machine, and be careful of persons, who seem to be overly helpful. Sometimes all they want to do is to get into the space with you so they can rob you,” she pointed out.
DSP Lindsay is also advising shoppers to keep their debit or credit card in sight at all times to prevent persons from copying the number and using it for illegal transactions, and to place purchases in car trunks rather than on car seats.
“When you go and shop and buy those very expensive gadgets, the ipad or the ipods, the expensive cellular phones, the lap tops, don’t leave them on the car seat. If you have a car that has trunk space, we encourage you to put them in the trunk so they are not seen. Also, if you purchase a 100-inch television and put the box out by the gate for disposal, it’s an indication to criminals that you’ve acquired a brand new TV. So too for the expensive phones and other devices,” she told JIS News.
She is encouraging persons to cut these boxes into small pieces and dispose of them in a garbage bag. Persons disposing of barrels received from overseas are also being advised to cut or mark out the names and addresses written on the sides “so that no one can have information that could be used by those with criminal intent”.
On the matter of safe driving, DSP Lindsay urged persons, as they attend parties and other festivities, to ensure that one person, properly licensed, is the designated driver for the trip home.
That individual should not drink or smoke or engage in any intoxication and be level headed enough to adhere to the rules of the road.