The Royal Barbados Police Force (RBPF) is predicting above normal criminal activity this Christmas season due to economic conditions in the country that have resulted in thousands more people going on the breadline.
Identity theft and the use of counterfeit currency are among the crimes head of Community Policing, Station Sergeant Stephen Griffith has told businesses to watch out for.
He told a crime prevention meeting with businesses operating in the District A jurisdiction this evening that he expects the season to be “difficult and challenging”.
But he said lawmen would be fighting back and acting Commissioner of Police Tyrone Griffith would roll out a full security plan in late November or early December.
“There will be things in the area of identity theft where people will be trying to use credit cards and persons’ bank cards and these are the things that you must open your minds to. People will try, in certain arenas, to use counterfeit currency – things that they would have made at home on their computers, so you have to be vigilant. If you have not yet done it, you should secure a chart or a brochure from the Central Bank which shows the security features on all of the currencies,” he advised the business owners.
During the meeting, it was disclosed that police would ramp up their presence in the Warrens area by mid-November, with the installation of a mobile units, and foot patrols, among other measures.
“Warrens is just one of the areas that we are covering in terms of our Christmas plan; there will be others areas. In addition to Warrens, there’ll be Wildey, there’ll be the Accra, there’ll be Sheraton. There are others areas that we will be focusing our efforts during the Christmas period and we are going to be looking at all areas where there are challenges in terms of criminal activity,” he said.
“We are going to be having both mobile uniformed foot patrols in the area and we are also going to be having our detectives out surveilling the area,” Station Sergeant Griffith said.
While assuring those present that police officers would not be letting down their guard, the lawman stressed that the RBPF cannot do it alone.
“One must recognize that there are many persons who are out of work at this time and it’s going to be a challenging time for the Royal Barbados Police Force. We want to ensure that everyone is following best practices in terms of how they handle their business, the way they handle their cash, the way they look after their homes so that everyone feels safe in the present environment,” he said.
Meanwhile, Station Sergeant O’Neal Small reported to the business representatives that crime “is still very much on the decline”.
However, he acknowledged the serious nature of some of the crimes was an area of concern.
Small expressed disappointment at the low turnout for this evening’s meeting, saying “the reason for being here was to hear if there were any unusual trends developing, if there were any special activities that we would have to bring to the attention of the administration of the Force to get additional support”.
He said the RBPF would return to the drawing board to fine-tune its strategy ahead of the deployment of personnel.
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