BACK-TO-SCHOOL SAFETY TIPS FOR SHOPPERS
Increased police presence is being promised for the major shopping areas such as downtown Kingston, Half-Way Tree, as well as town centres islandwide.
Superintendent Stephanie Lindsay, head of the police Corporate Communication Unit (CCU), said that while the number of cops on the road may not be as high as during the Christmas period, shoppers can expect more foot and mobile patrols.
The police force, in an attempt to reduce the opportunity for robberies and other forms of larceny that may be committed against shoppers during the back-to-school shopping period, are, therefore, advising shoppers of ways to protect themselves.
"We are doing this because we really want people to be aware. A lot of people are walking around with additional cash in this back-to-school season, and we want for them to take all possible precautions," Lindsay, said.
• Purchase items before the final days of back-to-school shopping to avoid the congestion and opportunity for larceny.
• Shoppers are advised to purchase textbooks from authorised establishments as unscrupulous persons are producing parts of textbooks that do not meet the requirements of the Bureau of Standards, and in some cases, pages are missing from these books.
• Avoid being lured into areas away from crowds on the pretext of receiving a bargain or reduced price for textbooks, etc. In most cases, this is to facilitate the robbery of shoppers.
• Keep items such as wallets, cash, and jewellery out of sight when in public. For example, place wallets and cellular phones in front pockets.
• Store items in car trunks and avoid leaving them on the seat of the motor vehicle.
• Be aware of loud commotions that may be a staged distraction that allow pickpockets to operate.
• When carrying a purse, ensure that it has a strong strap, and keep it in front of you at all times.
• Avoid carrying large amounts of cash on your person.
• Ensure that credit and debit cards are swiped in your presence to avoid them being copied.
• When using an ATM, choose a location that is in a busy public place.
• Keep your phone out of sight. Place it in your pocket and handbag when not in use.
n Look out for pickpockets at places that are normally crowded, for example, bus stops and fast-food establishments.