Some residents are being robbed because of their own doings.
This is according to crime prevention officer with the Royal Barbados Police Force Stephen Griffith, who said many people were guilty of not properly securing their property or personal items, making them an easy target for criminals.
He made the comments shortly after a presentation of prizes to winners in this year’s police children’s Christmas party at the Police Sports Club this morning.
Griffith said based on recent observations during the busy Yuletide shopping season, there were a number of cases where people, especially women, were walking around with their bags opened. This, he warned, was a sure way of attracting pick-pockets.
“When this happens it creates a target for the criminal elements out there. You are treating to the criminals. We want to ask persons to secure their purse . . . . We want persons to raise their sense of alertness in terms of what is happening around them,” warned Griffith.
“What we have found recently in Bridgetown is that there were a couple of cases of bags being picked; purses being removed from bags,” he added.
In terms of other crimes, Griffith said burglary remained one of the major challenges for the police department.
“But this is so because many persons are not doing what is necessary to prevent burglary. What we found in the recent burglary survey is that 80 per cent of the persons who were burgled treated to the burglary in that they either left a window opened, a door opened, keys in the door, did not lock the door or some other reckless behaviour which treated to what criminals would like to see,” explained Griffith.
That survey was carried out earlier this year by the national task force on crime prevention.
Griffith said: “In October when it was Crime Prevention Week we looked at that survey and tried to analyse why we were having these number of burglaries. [Officers] went about speaking to even persons who were charged and were imprisoned for burglaries to see what happened, and they confirmed that it was easy for them to get access the premises because of homeowners not doing what they should be doing”.
“So we are again appealing to persons that we continue to put crime prevention tips out there. Listen to them and put them into practice. Develop good best practices in terms of crime prevention and if you do this you will become less a target for criminality and it will displace crime significantly,” he said.
Griffith said burglary was not limited to any one community or parish.
“It is all around because the criminals move all around. They are going to be shifting themselves across the island. We want persons to continue to be vigilant and be alert and be your neighbours’ keeper,” said Griffith. (MM)