Police on Grand Bahama are taking a no tolerance stance as the 2017 holiday shopping season quickly approaches.
Sharing valuable safety tips for business owners, homeowners and shoppers, senior Royal Bahamas Police Force officers held a press conference yesterday – Monday, December 4 – at the Gerald Bartlett Police Headquarters.
Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Gregory Lockhart stated that law enforcement wanted to sensitize the entire Northern Bahamas on all aspects of safety, including potential holiday fires.
“Firstly I want to say to all of our business owners, prevention is always better than cure,” he said.
He added that business owners must be vigilant and aware of every person that enters their establishment.
“While operating at night ensure that your business is well lit inside and out. Never keep excessive amounts of cash at your stores, please, we admonish you to make frequent deposits,” he said.
Lockhart recommended that business owners utilize alternative routes to and from work, as well as when making deposits. He also advised that if business owners are victims of a crime, they should yield to the would -be assailant.
“We do not need anyone being heroes at this time,” he said.
He furthered that homeowners must also pay attention to their surroundings. They should ensure all windows and doors are locked when leaving home. If persons are traveling during the holiday season they should identify a suitable neighbor, family member or friend to watch their home in their absence.
ASP Lockhart also recommended that persons refrain from “advertising” the content of gifts received on social media.
“Lastly do not advertise your gifts and your valuables,” he said.
He added that gift boxes displaying electronic items should be shredded before being disposed of.
ASP Lockhart suggested that shoppers never leave packages and other valuables in plain sight in their vehicles, but rather place them in the trunk and park in well-lit areas.
He added that persons should also avoid talking and texting on cellphones to limit their distractions, while in public.
On behalf of the Deputy Commissioner of Police Emrick Seymour, Officer in Charge of Grand Bahama and the Northern Bahamas, ASP Lockhart also took the opportunity to advise potential perpetrators not to commit any crimes as the RBPF will be out and about in full force and they will be punished to the fullest extent of the law.
Inspector Elie Ariscor, of the Police Fire Services Department also offered safety tips regarding fires. He advised that persons should be careful with holiday decorations, ensuring that they have the appropriate decorations for indoor and outdoor use.
“If your lightbulbs are rated for indoor use, ensure that they are used on the inside,” he said.
He added that persons should use clips to hang their lights and not nails as they may fray the cord and electrify those nails. They should also keep decorations away from doors and windows, ensuring lit candles are out of the reach of children and that they are blown out at night. Lights should also be turned off at night, to prevent them from overheating.
Ariscor furthered that persons should also know all exits of the home, identify a fire escape plan and ensure that all smoke detectors are working.
He added that persons should dispose of all garbage properly, noting that burning items on property is an offense.
Persons can contact the RBPF at 911 or 919, the Central Detective Unit at 352-3106-7/8 or the Police Control Room at 350-3014 or access the website www.royalbahamaspoliceforce.org.