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JIS News

While Christmas is a time for caring, sharing, and fellowship, unfortunately, it is also a period when robberies increase.
As Jamaicans make preparations to celebrate Christmas 2010 with family and friends, the police is providing some home security tips for the season.
Community Safety and Security Officer, Jamaica Constabulary Force, Constable Leron Mattison, is encouraging homeowners to keep their yards properly lit, advising persons with a surplus of disposable income to invest in motion-detecting lights.
“Criminals do not like light, they prefer darkness, especially if they are planning to break (into) a house so bright lighting is recommended for outside,” he said.
Other critical steps, which should be taken to maximise home security include ensuring that doors and windows can be securely fastened. He said doors, particularly those to the back of the house, should be fitted with proper locks, adding that persons who have a habit of hiding keys in their yards – under a flower pot or mat, should desist from this practise.
“The police advise that this is unsafe, no matter how secure you believe your hiding spot is avoid attaching names or addresses to keys, if they are lost or stolen, that can make it much easier for thieves to find a home and it makes their job very easy. Try and have your keys ready when you approach your home so you don’t have to fumble in bags or pockets for them on your doorstep,” he said.
The Community Safety and Security Officer said tools should not be left laying around the yard, noting that these can become useful for potential intruders.
He is also advising that trees and shrubs be neatly trimmed. “When things are overcrowded, it creates a better hiding place for criminals,” he noted, adding that placing gravel and pebbles on driveways and paths will help one to hear the approaching criminals.
He is encouraging neighbours to look out for each other, and notify the police, if suspicious activities or danger is in close proximity to their abode.
“Many persons, in this Christmas season, will be leaving for holidays close all windows and doors whenever you leave your home if you are going out at night, you might want to draw the curtains and maybe turn a light on, so it looks like someone is at home,” he said.
Constable Mattison advised that if persons intend to leave their homes for extended periods, they should be discreet about the situation so as to not alert possible intruders.
“For example, you park the car out at the gate and you pack all the things that you are carrying to go on the holiday so that everybody can see, that is a no-no, that is another opportunity. Because if the culprit sees you packing, then they have an idea that you will be leaving for a period of time and so they would know that nobody is…home,” the Community Safety and Security Officer said.