12 Tips to keep you safe against crime this holiday season
The 12 days of Christmas will soon be upon us in the beautiful Cayman Islands and everyone is enjoying the Christmas Breeze, and the lights from homes and businesses. However, Christmas time can see a peak in crime in the Cayman Islands, the season of goodwill doesnt exist for those that break the law.
The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service have come up with these 12 handy tips to keep you safe from crime over the Christmas period and beyond. Here at Cayman Crime Stoppers we’d also like to take this opportunity to wish you and yours a Merry Christmas and a very happy and safe New year.
12 Days of Christmas – Tips to Prevent Crime
1. Stay Bright!
We all know crime likes to lurk in dark corners, so remember that you are safest in well-lit, busy areas. Heading through a parking lot or narrow street? Try to look and act confidently, look like you know where you are going and you are aware of your surroundings, walk tall.
2. Spread it about a bit
Spread valuables around your body, for example keep your phone in your bag, your house keys in your trouser pocket and your money in your jacket. This will make it harder for a would be criminal to take everything you need to run your life in one single swoop. Keep your credit and debit cards separate from your cheque book and cash. Never keep your personal identification number (PIN) and credit or debit card together.
3. He’s behind you
If you use a wheelchair, keep your valuables beside you rather than at the back of the chair, this means you can keep watch of your valubales and it can prevent someone from sneaking up behind you and taking things without you noticing.
4. No one likes a show off!
Try to be conspicuous about valuables you are carrying. Talking loudly on your phone, carrying a lap top or showing your friend your new gold ring can give thieves the impression you are worth stealing from.
5. Christmas Bells are ringing
Record your ‘phones serial number, IMEI number and your phone number. You can get these numbers by looking behind the phone battery or typing *#06# in to your ‘phone. If your phone should be stolen this Christmas report the phone and serial numbers to your network operator and the police as soon as possible. Using these numbers, your network operator can block the ‘phone number and the handset from making calls making the handset useless.
6. Lock it or lose it
Keep car doors locked when driving and keep bags, phones and other valuables out of sight when your vehicle is parked. The trunk or boot of your car is a great place to put your christmas shopping bags to keep them out of sight.
7. Let it go
In the Cayman Islands you can use reasonable force in self-defense. You are allowed to protect yourself or your property with something you are carrying, for example car keys , but you may not carry a weapon.
8. Fight or flight?
If someone tries to take something from you, it may be better to let it go rather than risk a confrontation and injury. Most credit cards insure purchases. How important is that Christmas present versus being injured or hospitilzed for Christmas? If you decide to defend yourself, be aware that your attacker may be stronger than you, or may take what you are using in self defence and use it against you. It is often better just to shout loudly and run away.
9. Burning off the calories
Here in the Cayman Islands we like to keep fit with an early morning or late night walk or jog, especcially during the Christmas period to try and keep those extra calories off the waist line. When out walking or jogging, ditch the headphones while you listen to your iPod or MP3 player. Headphones make it easy for someone to sneak up behind you, no headphones help you to stay more alert to your surroundings.
10. Opportunity Knocks
According to Royal Cayman Islands Police Service Superintendent of District Operations, Angelique Howell, “Often, because of the relatively low crime rate in Cayman, people can grow complacent about taking precautions to enhance their personal security, but the important thing to remember is that thieves and robbers are opportunists, more than anything else, and we have to develop habits that deprive them of opportunities as much as possible.”
11. Dont Advertise your Christmas Presents
Bought a new flat screen TV for the Holidays? Finally got the kids the iPads they’ve beed asking for all year? Dont advertise that to people who may be cruising your neighbourhood looking for places to burgle. Crush large electronic item packaging and place it in your trash can rather than leaving it outside for all to see.
12. Arrive alive, dont drink and drive
Thirteen people have lost their lives on the roads of the Cayman Islands this year, and although the year-end figures have not yet been confirmed, there have been almost 1,000 crashes across the Cayman Islands so far in 2015. Dont be a part of the problem, be a part of the solution. Why not take the Purple Ribbon Pledge and if you Drink, Dont Drive this Holiday Season. Or if you end up drinking more than you had planned to and dont feel safe to drive, ask for a ride home for a friend, or call Home Safe on , they come and pick you up and take your car home for you. Friends dont let friends drive drunk. If you see a friend trying to get in a car to drive drunk this Christmas, take the keys from them and make sure they get home to their family safely this Christmas, they will thank you for it.
If you see someone acting suspiciously or see a crime in progress, call 911 and the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service will attend.
If you notice suspicious behaviour that you wish to report anonymously please call the Cayman Islands Crime Stoppers call centre in Miami free of charge on 800-8477 TIPS or click here to submit and anonymous tip on-line. Remember we do not want to know who you are, we just want to know what you know.
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What anti-crime tips do you have for the Christmas Season? We’d love to hear them in the comments section below.