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Police issue Christmas crime warning

Acting Deputy Commissioner of Police Martin Weekes (Photograph supplied)

Police have warned the public to be wary of an increase in criminal activity that often accompanies the holiday period.

Martin Weekes, the Acting Deputy Commissioner of Police, said that the increase in social and commercial activity over Christmas and New Year’s is often linked to an increase in criminal activity and antisocial behaviour.

He said: “To deter opportunistic crime and provide reassurance to the public, police officers will be patrolling across the island – including the City of Hamilton – engaging with patrons, retailers and motorists to ensure everyone is able to enjoy the festivities in a peaceful and safe environment.”

Mr Weekes urged the public to help by staying mindful and applying common sense crime prevention tips, such as locking car doors and keeping valuables and packages out of sight.

“When approaching and leaving your vehicle, always be aware of your surroundings. Park in a well-lit area if possible and do not approach the vehicle alone if there are people standing nearby acting suspiciously,” Mr Weekes said.

“Have your keys in hand when approaching your vehicle. Check the back seat and around the car before getting in.

“Do not buy more than you can carry. Plan ahead by taking a friend with you or ask a store employee to help you carry your packages to the car. Avoid travelling alone if possible.

“Avoid giving rides to and taking rides from unknown persons, or individuals who may seem eager to assist.”

People are advised not to leave handbags unattended, hold purses close to their body and conceal wallets in a coat or pocket when not in use.

“When shopping with children, make a plan in case you are separated from each other. Identify in advance a central meeting place,” Mr Weekes added. “Teach them to know they can ask store personnel or security employees if they need help.

“If going out to socialise, arrange to arrive and leave with people you know. When out socialising, don’t leave your drinks unattended and do not accept drinks from unknown individuals.

“If you are planning to socialise, arrange for transportation home before you leave and don’t drink and drive and don’t let your friends and colleagues drink and drive.”

Mr Weekes also urged the public to lock up their doors and windows when leaving home and, if leaving for an extended period, ask a neighbour or friend to watch the house.

“In addition to the late night shopping activity, this time of year is marked by increased socialising with family, friends and colleagues at various festive events,” he said.

“Where intoxicants are involved, unfortunately, we also typically see increases in road traffic collisions and antisocial behaviour. As a result the Bermuda Police Service encourages members of the public to enjoy themselves responsibly.

“Patrons attending Christmas and New Year’s parties are asked to be mindful of their behaviour. Carefully consider your options and the consequences.”

Mr Weekes added that the BPS was prepared to address antisocial behaviour this holiday season, and officers will monitor the island’s roads.

“Traffic checks can be expected at various locations, particularly where events are taking place, with road sobriety checkpoints scheduled for December 29 through January 1 at various locations across the island.

“Finally, on behalf of the Commissioner and the Bermuda Police Service, I wish you all a safe and pleasant holiday period and thank you for helping us make Bermuda safer.”

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Published December 23, 2022 at 4:55 pm (Updated December 23, 2022 at 9:55 pm)

Police issue Christmas crime warning

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