SAFETY TIPS FOR THE FESTIVE SEASON
The police are advising members of the public that as we enter into the 2015 Yuletide season, we should adopt safe practices and be more vigilant. The increase in business and recreational activities usually attracts criminal elements, who may seek to commit robberies and deceive unsuspecting persons.
These are some of the tips that will assist in ensuring the safety of your life and property throughout the holidays.
• Ensure that valuable personal possessions (e.g. excess cash and high-end electronic devices) are properly secured or concealed. If you intend to conduct business involving large amounts of cash with someone, do so at a police station or safe location.
• Avoid wearing excessive jewellery, particularly gold, 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, in the event you are being followed.
• 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.
• Do not leave valuable items on the back of seats or areas within the car 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. If you believe you are being followed, proceed to a busy location and contact the police.
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 may be more advanced home security systems. Dogs are also an excellent, cost effective alternative to electronic 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. It is best you never leave children at home; you can instead leave them in the care of trusted relatives or babysitters.
• When taking public transportation, especially taxis, always remember 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 by text messages. Be wary of drivers who ask you to divert from planned routes.
• Taxi drivers are also being warned to be alert and look out 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. Serious accidents tend to increase during the festive season.
Do not hesitate in reporting crimes to the police 119 emergency number, Crime Stop at 311 or the nearest police station.