As part of its Crime Prevention Strategy the Guyana Police Force (GPF) has released crime prevention tips that fall within the ambit of “Signs of Suspicious Behavior, ATM Safety, Jogging Safety, Safety at Night for Students, Office Safety and Security, Public Transportation Safety, Residence Safety and Security, Vacation Safety and Security, Vehicle Safety and Security and Safety Tips for Taxi Drivers.”
According to the GPF’s monthly crime statistics issued in September, the Force recorded a whopping 23 per cent increase in robberies where no instruments were used by perpetrators; a one per cent hike in armed robberies where firearms were used; and robberies with violence saw a five per cent increase, while burglaries went up by four per cent.
In releasing the crime tips the Force explained that “Crime can happen anywhere. Protect yourself, others and property by staying alert, safety conscious and informed. Trust your instincts, if something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.”
See their crime prevention tips below:
SIGNS OF SUSPICIOUS BEHAVIOR
1. Attempting to enter a residence or vehicle without proper access.
2. Body language that suggest being watched or chased.
3. Forcibly attempting to enter a locked vehicle or building.
4. Transactions conducted from vehicles, especially near schools or parks.
5. One or more persons sitting in a parked car closely scanning an area.
6. A person seemingly forced into a vehicle.
7. An individual displaying unusual mental or physical symptom.
8. Unusual noises, including gunshots, screaming, sounds of fighting, barking dogs or anything suggesting foul play, danger or illegal activity.
1. Try to plan ATM visits during the day, rather than after dark.
2. Choose an ATM location that is in a busy, public place.
3. Be ready with your card handy but not in plain view.
4. Go with a friend, especially if you must use an ATM at night.
5. Stand directly in front of the machine to conceal your personal PIN number.
6. Cancel you transaction and walk away if anything seems suspicious.
7. Pocket your money immediately. You can count it later.
8. Immediately report lost or stolen ATM cards.
1. Jog with a companion in familiar and public areas facing traffic.
2. Do not jog during dark hours.
3. Vary your route and pattern.
4. Remain alert. Don’t wear stereo earplugs or headphones.
5. If you think you are being followed, go to a well-lit public area, store or residence and draw attention to yourself.
6. Wear bright clothing.
7. Do not jog near bushes and structures where someone could hide.
SAFETY AT NIGHT FOR STUDENTS
1. Try to avoid working or studying alone in a building at night.
2. If you must work or study late, let someone you trust know where you are and when you will be alone.
3. Keep your room or office door closed and locked.
4. Close and lock the door when leaving your office or room, even if only for a few minutes.
5. Never prop any door open or allow others to enter with you.
6. Keep emergency phone numbers handy in case of intrusion, fire or other emergency.
7. Use campus/colleges transportation services.
PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION SAFETY
1. Stay alert to your surroundings.
2. Do not fall asleep while riding public transportation.
3. Try to maintain a schedule that ensures plenty of people are at your bus or car park.
4. Beware of pickpockets. Place wallets in front pocket and carry a purse that has a secure, strong strap. Be aware of loud commotions that may be staged distractions for pick-pocketing.
5. If possible, sit near the driver or operator.
6. If someone bothers you, say in a loud voice, “leave me alone,” and move to another area of the bus or car park. Be rude if necessary.
7. If you are followed when you exit, cross the street and go to the nearest well-lit populated area, yell for help or contact the police.
RESIDENCE SAFETY AND SECURITY
1. Always lock your door – even during short naps or when you are just down the hall.
2. Use the peephole (if got) and identify who is at the door before you open it. If you don’t have a peephole try to identify who is it by questioning or picking up voices.
3. Immediately report suspicious activity to the nearest Police Station.
4. Do not prop secured doors open to let non-residents follow you in.
5. Take time to familiarize yourself with building evacuation and fire safety plans.
6. Keep items such as checkbooks, wallets, cash, jewelry, etc. out of plain sight.
7. Do not keep large amount of cash in your house or person.
VACATION SAFETY AND SECURITY
1. Do not publicize travel plans. Do not announce vacation absences in voicemail, automated email response or on social networking sites.
2. Make sure you secure or remove valuables in your home or room (i.e. jewelry, computers, electronic gadgets, etc.)
3. Before leaving, close and lock all windows, close all shades/drapes and lock and bolt the entrance door.
4. Ask a trusted neighbour to keep an eye on your place and pick up mail, newspapers and packages while you are away.
5. Leave your itinerary with a trusted neighbour or friend.
6. Use timers to turn on lights or a radio. Turn phone ringers down or off.
7. While on vacation, don’t carry large amounts of cash and keep a charged cell phone with you.VEHICLE SAFETY AND SECURITY
1. Keep doors locked.
2. Park in a well-lit and well-travelled area.
3. Have your keys ready when approaching your vehicle and look in your backseat before entering.
4. Make sure your car runs well and have sufficient gas.
5. Keep a charged cell phone with you when driving.
6. Never pick up strangers and never go with a stranger.
7. If someone approaches your vehicle and attempts to enter, blow the horn continuously to attract attention and drive away.
SAFETY TIPS FOR TAXI DRIVERS
1. The most important equipment in your taxi is your Radio which connects you to the dispatcher.
2. Be alert and aware.
3. Do not flash or display your money.
4. Greet and maintain eye contact with the customers when picking up.
5. Know the city/community.
6. Trust your instincts.
7. Always keep your doors locked.