How to help the police fight crime|
Trinidad Guardian, Sunday, October 02, 2005
The world in which we live is fraught with crime. Trinidad and Tobago is no different. The approach we have toward crime prevention can make the difference between danger and safety for us and our loved ones.
We have not yet come to grips with difficult and complex problems and events happening currently in T&T and we really need to address the concerns of all citizens, working together to find solutions.
The benefits of enhanced personal and public safety can be achieved by investing in the approaches that deal with the underlying causes of crime and victimisation, such as violence and alcohol or substance abuse. We therefore need to develop, implement and evaluate methods which help prevent crime from happening in the first place.
When the average individual thinks of crime prevention, he thinks in terms of his family and his home.
Here are some simple tips we can use in our everyday lives with a view to crime prevention.
1. If your home is situated in a remote area (eg the dead end of a street), you may want to consider proper external lighting for your property and its peripherals.
External lighting is important for your home even if it is in a fairly well-populated area. Burglars are discouraged by light. They would prefer to do their dirty work under the cover of darkness. Think carefully beforehand in order to determine where lights would be best positioned.
2. Secure your peripheral gates, fences, etc at night and even during the day. Some burglars do not wait for the cover of night to attack but instead rely on the element of surprise, which would certainly be the case if a daylight attack should occur.
3. Temptation is one of the greatest weaknesses of a burglar. Someone may be passing on the street with absolutely no intention of stealing but should an item in your yard catch his/her eye, it might prove too much to resist. Items which are fairly portable and not necessarily valuable in terms of money but certainly useful and tempting to someone, should be covered or stored away from the eyes of the public.
4. Wooden boxes, metal bins, etc which are easy to climb or items in general which may allow easy access into your yard, should not be stored against your wall or fence. The more difficult it is for the burglar to get into your yard, the longer he takes to gain access, which increases the likelihood of him getting caught.
5. Doors which lead into the house should be kept locked at all times. This means whether or not you are at home. Most people believe that when they are at home, it is safe to leave their doors not only unlocked but opened out all the way. Your front door usually leads off your porch to your living room and should only be left open all the way if your porch area is surrounded by burglar-proof bars and a burglar-proof gate.
6. Valuable or important items such as jewelry, crystals, cash, keys, documents, etc should not be left near open windows. It would be a simple task, even if your windows have burglar-proof bars, to lift these items off a table or wherever you have left them if they are near an open window.
Protecting our homes against crimes is merely one facet of how we may assist in the reduction of crime. There are many different areas of crime prevention. Preventive measures should be taken at businesses, in your neighbourhoods (neighbourhood watch), an even on the streets.
We must all remember that crime is not the business of the police only. We have arrived at an era where crime has become a business for even the most petty of thieves and nowadays, kidnappers. The days of citizens showing indifference if crime doesnít directly affect them are gone. If we donít all work together to fight the war on crime, we would all be the losers.
Courtesy Citizen Security Service (1989) Ltd,
112 Belmont Circular Road, Belmont, Port-of-Spain.
Tel: 625-2253; 623-3589