Issue #ZAS1234

Issue #ZAS1234

May 26, 2022

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As the holiday season fast approaches, people are being warned to exercise greater vigilance as they conduct business in public and online.

This advice comes from the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), Inspector Shaunjaye Mitchell, who noted that there is usually a general increase in the number of robberies during the holiday season.

“Ensure that your valuables and personal possessions such as cash and high-end electronic devices are properly secured or concealed while on the road. Also, avoid wearing excessive jewellery, particularly gold, especially when walking in areas with high pedestrian traffic,” Inspector Mitchell shared, in his appeal to the public.

He said while the season is one filled with anticipated laughter and cheer, this time of the year is generally one filled with distractions. The officer added that it is also a time when busy people become less alert and vulnerable to theft and other holiday crime.

Inspector Mitchell said, “We can never be too careful, too prepared or too aware. We encourage persons transporting large sums of cash to utilize cash escort services offered by private security companies.”

Women are an easy target for criminal, so an appeal was made to females; “Always ensure that your house and car keys are easily accessible to minimize the time it takes to enter homes and vehicles. 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, maintain your vigilance and go to the nearest police station if possible,” he recommended.


The Police Officer advised persons to invest in safety features for their homes. “This may simply take the form of sturdy locks and doors, and where necessary changing those that have not been in a while or more advanced home security systems such as CCTV systems.”
In light of the pandemic, having many people at home primarily due to ‘Stay at Home’ orders, criminals are becoming craftier. Inspector Mitchell is reminding families to be extra cautious about locking doors and windows when you leave the house, even for a few minutes.

He said robbers sometimes pose as household employees/workers or various ‘company’, such as gardeners and domestic helpers, and 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 to shout for help if they feel unsafe. Also, teach them to not give out personal information and how to contact the police.

Instead of leaving children alone at home, leave them in the care of trusted relatives or a responsible caregiver.”
The police further added that when leaving home for an extended time, have a neighbour or family member watch your house and pick up your newspapers, as well as have them monitoring indoor and outdoor lights.


With all the excitement going on, motorists are urged to take all the necessary steps to ensure road safety. “If you’re planning on hitting the road during the holidays, there’s a lot to consider. When taking public transportation, especially taxis, always remember to note the license 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. Be wary of drivers who ask you to divert from planned routes,” Mitchell shared.

He made a special consideration to taxi drivers, advising them 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 if you consume excessive alcohol. Also, ensure your vehicles secured at these events. Obey all the road codes when travelling and comply with the instructions of the JCF.”

Other security tips included avoid leaving valuable items on motor vehicle seats or areas within the vehicle that make them visible to passers-by and when using the Automated Teller Machines exercise vigilance and protect the debit/credit card information.

The Inspector is also reminding persons to continue observing the government’s COVID- 19 regulation, to ensure the safely of themselves as well as the public.

“During the festive season, more persons may be out in public conducting business, wear your mask and keep. Avoid contact with anyone who appears sick. Avoid touching your face mask, eyes, nose, and mouth,” the JCF officer shared.

He further noted that travel increases the chance of getting and spreading the virus that causes COVID-19, so he strongly recommended persons staying home as the best way to protect yourself and others.

“We understand the need to spend time with loved ones during the festive season, he shared, so while we advise the public to limit contact, here are a few tips if you choose to have family gatherings:”

Encourage guests to bring food and drinks for themselves and members of their household only; avoid potluck-style gatherings.

o Wear a mask while preparing food for or serving food to others who do not live in your household.

o Use single-use options or identify one person to share items, like salad dressings, food containers, plates and utensils, and condiments.

Mr Mitchell noted that families should consider and prepare for what they will do if they, or someone else, becomes sick during a family visit.

“What are the plans for isolation, medical care, basic care, and travel home? Remember there is mandatory 14-day quarantine for guests arriving on the island.”

Staff Writer

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