Christmas time is busy for everyone, including criminals. We are asking for your help to put a stop to opportunist thieves.
- Put your special mark on your mobile/smart phone, MP3 player, tablet or other electrical items, and other items of value.
- If you have information about any crime you can call 444-1958; no questions asked.
- To report crime in a non-emergency situation call or visit any police station.
- In an emergency always dial 911.
Have a joyful, safe and happy Christmas and a peaceful New Year!
Here are some helpful tips on how you can protect yourself and your valued possession, and not become a victim of larceny or burglary.
- Think ahead and plan your journey, avoiding deserted areas.
- Try to avoid walking alone at night, and keep to well-lit main roads where possible. You should try to avoid short cuts like alleyways and bushy areas.
- Stay alert: be aware of what’s going on around you.
- It is always worth letting someone know where you are going, the route you intend to take and when you expect to return.
- Try to avoid wearing headphones – your ability to hear traffic, strangers or potential trouble is severely restricted.
Hide portable, valuable property
- If you see anyone suspicious stay in well-lit areas or places where there are more people.
- Keep expensive watches or jewelery out of sight and keep wallets in an inside pocket.
- Women should wear bags across their body so they open facing the body. Wearing it over your shoulder is an easy target.
- Keep house keys in a pocket different from your wallet, which might have your address in it.
- If you are attacked your safety is more important than your property: you are less likely to be hurt if you let it go without fighting.
Protect your mobile phone
- The 15-digit serial or IMEI number helps to identify your phone and can be accessed by keying *#06#. This number could help the police to trace ownership.
- Always use your phone’s security lock code or PIN number.
- Securely mark the battery (& phone) with your personal unique mark.
- Store numbers (especially home and close relatives) with subtle or difficult names. In the event your phone is stolen you or close family is not at risk to stalking.
Many people now get cash from Automatic Telling Machines (ATMs) that can be found in most public places.
The following is a list of ideas that you should put to use when using an ATM:
- Use ATMs where you feel the most comfortable.
- Avoid using the ATM if there are any suspicious-looking individuals around.
- Have your card ready in your hand before you approach the ATM.
- Do not use the ATM if you notice anything unusual indicating it may have been interfered with.
- Be especially cautious when strangers offer to help you at an ATM, even if you are experiencing difficulty with the transaction; never allowing anyone to distract you while you are at the ATM.
- Do not let anyone see you enter your PIN; you should shield the keypad with your hand when entering your PIN.
- Never disclose your PIN to anyone, not even to the bank or police.
- If you feel the ATM is not working normally, press the Cancel key and withdraw your card and then proceed to another ATM.
- If your card get jammed, retained or lost, or if you are interfered with at an ATM, report this immediately to the bank and/or police using the help line provided or nearest phone.
- Do not be in a hurry during the transaction, and carefully secure your card and cash in your wallet, handbag or pocket before leaving the ATM.
Make sure that your car is kept in good running order. Do not put your self at risk by running out of oil, petrol or water. Take the time to learn the basics of car maintenance and have your car serviced by a reputable garage.
If you feel vulnerable traveling alone it is worth considering purchasing a mobile phone. Ensure the mobile is fully charged before setting off on long journeys. Always let someone know where your are going.
Do not drive if you are intoxicated with alcohol or is on medication that will be make you lethargic.
Always close the windows and sunroof, lock the doors and activate any security devices when leaving your car unattended. Park with care, particularly at night or if you are leaving the vehicle for a long time. If possible, park in a busy, well-lit area.
Never leave cash, credit cards, cheque books, mobile phones, vehicle documents or other valuables in the car. (If you have no choice but to do so, make sure they are hidden well out of sight before you begin your journey-thieves may be watching you park).
Never leave your keys in the car, even for a second; treat them as you would your cash and credit cards. Make sure they are kept in a secure place at home and at work; burglars have been known to break into houses and offices to steal car keys.
If you see anything unusual or suspicious, call the police immediately. In an emergency dial 911.
When buying a car always know where the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) is located. This is also known as the chassis number, it is a unique 17 character number issued to every vehicle by the manufacturer. Make sure the VIN has not been tampered with and that it matches that on the registration document.
Look for the VIN:
- Stamped on the body chassis or frame.
- On a manufacturer’s VIN plate under the bonnet or fixed to the post between the front and rear doors.
- On an additional plate fixed securely to the top corner of the dash board where it can easily be seen through windscreen – this is called a visible VIN.
Be alert. All members of your staff should maintain vigilance at all times, anything unusual, e.g people loitering outside, should be noted and reported to management or the police. Keep windows clear to allow good vision.
Vision and lighting is important. Maintain a high level of lighting inside and outside the premises. Be careful when putting up displays and signs, ensuring good vision inside premises and through windows.
Early acknowledgement. Visitors or customers should be made aware that a member of staff has seen them enter. In other words eye contact should be made.
Dangers of habit. Company premises holding large sums of money are most vulnerable when staffing levels are low, e.g. during lunch hours or when opening or closing the business. Staff working alone need extra security arrangements. While it is accepted that procedures within any organization are necessary, predictable routines should always be avoided; e.g. vary cash delivery/collection times and routes to and from bank or business.
Reduce the quantity of cash held in tills by using deposit safes with time controls. Know your emergency procedures. All staff should familiarize themselves with company procedures.
A burglar will select his target because it offers him the best opportunity to carry out his crime undetected and with fewest number of obstacles in his way. A building that presents itself as unoccupied and insecure is far more likely to be targeted than one which is properly secured.
Do not leave side gates and accessible windows open. Do not leave ladders out as this allow access to otherwise inaccessible windows.
Do not leave garden tools exposed it can be used to force entry. Untrimmed hedges or high fences prevent natural surveillance.
All the windows shut in very hot weather or unlit houses after dark tells a burglar that the house is unoccupied. This tells the burglar that he is unlikely to be disturbed in the course of his work. Naturally, circumstances may arise when such situations may be unavoidable. If we can take measures that tell the burglar that this building is too difficult or too risky a target, he will hopefully move on.
Make a burglar’s job difficult by installing timers which switch lights or radios on and off automatically or keep lights on during periods of absence in the night.
Become part of a community team whose members work together to protect each other from crime. (Watching and caring – not snooping).
That’s what Neighborhood Watch is all about – looking out for each other. Neighbors uniting and acting together means that dozens of eyes and ears are ready to pick up on anything happening in the neighborhood that could cause worry or concern. It’s not about being nosy or interfering, it’s about being a good neighbor and caring about your community.
Do not give out information about who is at home, who is out, and how long they will be gone to strangers.
If on your arrival at home you find the house to be broken into, do not enter! Call the Police; a trapped person can become very dangerous.