Police to increase presence during Christmas season; urge citizens to be more vigilant

Wednesday, December 14, 2016 - 10:15

The Police Service has vowed to increase its presence across the country during the Christmas season and is urging members of the public to be more vigilant as they go about their business for Christmas.

The following is a statement by acting ASP Michael Pierre today.

"The Christmas holiday season is at hand and it is a time when there is heightened commercial activity throughout the country.

This increase in spending presents an opportunity, for those with criminal intent, to prey on persons who may unwittingly make themselves easy targets or victims of crime.

Trinidad and Tobago Police Service, therefore, assures citizens that police officers will be visible and vigilant in every town, village, shopping centre, mall and residential area throughout the length and breadth of our nation.

Trinidad and Tobago Police Service shall: 

 Increase both foot and mobile patrols in all areas. (uniform and plain
 Implement more DUI and road check exercises
 Place greater attention to all financial institutions
 Monitor more closely activities at our ports of entry - air and sea
 Focus patrols on the highways on a 24hr basis
 Adopt a zero tolerance approach to all infraction of the law that are detected

It is our mandate in the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service to help you our citizens be more aware, alert, prepared, and safe during the holiday season. 

We wish to advise that personal safety is of paramount importance; and we at the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service, would appreciate adherence to the following tips:

 Be vigilant about your surroundings during the daylight hours, just as much as the night time. A crime can occur at any time. Be mindful that criminals are always paying attention to all signs of vulnerability to make their move on the unsuspecting victim.

 Avoid wearing expensive jewellery as this tends to attract attention and make the wearer a potential victim.

 Shop during daylight hours whenever possible. If you must shop at night, do not go alone. You are more likely to become a target if you are alone.

 Avoid carrying large amounts of cash. You may not be aware who is monitoring you whilst making purchases. The display of cash can cause you to become a target.

 Pay for purchases with a cheque or credit card when possible. 

 Keep cash in your front pocket where you have better control over it and more likely to see who is approaching you. Pick pockets look for the bulge created by cell phones, wallets cash and other items in your back pockets.

 Notify the credit card issuer immediately if your credit card is lost, stolen or misused.

 Keep a record of all of your credit card numbers in a safe place at home.

 Avoid carrying a purse or wallet if possible, however if you do exercise extreme caution. Purses and wallets are the prime targets of criminals in crowded shopping areas.

 Avoid overloading yourself with packages. It is important to have clear visibility and freedom of motion to avoid mishaps.

 Beware of strangers approaching you for any reason. At this time of year, con-artists may try various methods of distracting you with the intention of taking your money or belongings.

 Park your vehicles in proper car parks and keep track of where it is parked. This will assist in getting you to your car and on your way safely.

 Wear your purse across the body to keep your hands free for your keys, both when heading to your car and into your home.

 Stay alert while you are walking to your car. Talking or texting on your phone or digging in your purse for your keys while walking is a distraction and makes you an easy target. 

 Check the back seat for potential criminals before getting back in your car. Carry your keys in your hand while you are walking toward your vehicle, and pick a parking space that's easy to back out of so that you can leave the parking lot quickly.

 The TTPS is also asking owners of vehicles to desist from leaving items of value such as handbags/ purses, laptops, cell phones, tablets and other electronic items exposed in your vehicles thereby making it a soft target to thieves. Before leaving your vehicle in a parked position, please make a check to ensure that your items of value are properly secured.

 Be careful what you post on social media. Don't alert others that you are not at home or about the contents of your home. 

 If you live in an area with an active neighbourhood watch group, it is advisable to alert them of when you will be leaving your home to go shopping, or away on vacation for a period. Otherwise, alert your
close neighbours so they can monitor any suspicious activity near your home.

 If you are a victim of a crime or witness to a crime being committed against another, report it to the police immediately. Please utilize 999, l 555 or any Police station in your district or call 800-TIPS.
We in the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service are here to serve you."