Be alert! - Cops encourage patrons to be cautious at Champs
The 2017 ISSA GraceKennedy Boys and Girls Championships is on its final day, which according to tradition usually attracts the largest crowd at the National Stadium.
Wherever there is a large gathering, public safety is a priority, and the police believe that persons attending these events need to take certain precaution, especially to ward against theft.
According to Superintendent Stephanie Lindsay, the first rule when you going somewhere like Champs is that you only take what you really need.
"Do not take any unnecessary stuff that you are not going to use at Champs. If you have valuables, you don't just put them in your pockets. You try to secure them in a bag," she said.
"Do not put large sums of cash or cell phone or expensive jewellery in your pocket because it's very easy in a packed environment like Champs for persons to snatch things without you realising."
Lindsay told THE STAR that it is better for persons to put things in their side pockets.
"Wear clothing so that the things can go deep into the pockets without being exposed," she added.
She also encouraged persons to always be on the alert, and that they should be aware of their surroundings and the persons around them.
"Be on the look out for persons who are making body contact in the line. Pay attention because what they try to do is get close. Make sure persons maintain their distance even when you are in that environment," she told THE STAR.
Another safety tip, Lindsay said, is for persons to be aware of people trying to talk to them, trying to get information unnecessarily.
"They travel in groups and use persons as decoy. One member of the group may try to engage you in a conversation to distract you while the others are picking your pocket or trying to snatch something from you," Lindsay said.
If persons come across a pickpocket, the cop said persons should not engage them.
"You may want to bring that to the attention of the police who are working inside and outside of the stadium. Try to get a good description of the individual, not just of clothing," she said.
Lindsay told THE STAR that in some instances pickpockets move around with change of clothing, so if you try to describe them by their outfits you may be off. She encouraged persons to pay attention to facial features, hairstyles or distinguishing features like scars or tattoos.
"They move from one side of the stadium wearing a red shirt, and as they move to another side they wear a blue or a white," Lindsay said.
Lindsay is also urging persons to use the Stay Alert App.
"If you observe somebody picking somebody's pocket, you can video them, take a picture, text or send a voice note and send it off to a secure saver and you could also be alerting the police as well," Lindsay said.