MINISTER for Home Affairs and National Security, Victor La Corbiniere, is issuing a few words of caution to citizens to be mindful of the dangers traditionally associated with the festive Christmas season.
Speaking to the media this week, La Corbiniere said that while the police are fully deployed to ensure safety, citizens themselves need to play a key role in ensuring that the safety of their person and property are not compromised. He said that while there have been heavy bike patrols and uniformed officers around the city of late, efforts are being made to complement the current deployment of police officers, especially at nights and on weekends. To that end, he said, he has communicated with Commissioner of Police, Vernon Francois, on the matter.
Recently, a spate of break-ins and robberies has been a major concern for citizens and the police. La Corbiniere said the usual spike in criminal activity that accompanies the Christmas season can be curbed if people took the appropriate steps when they are conducting their business at and away from home.
“Criminals believe it is a good time to engage particularly in burglaries, in snatching and robbing, so citizens have to be a little more careful at this time,” La Corbiniere said. “And it’s not just in the streets. When you’re leaving home, try to ensure that your neighbours have an indication that you are not at home and have an idea about who to call if they see something that is not proper taking place on your premises.”
The minister also warned business-owners against being complacent with their security measures. While urging them to “step up” their act, La Corbiniere said business-places need to understand that it takes partnership on the part of both police and business-owners to make the system work.
“The police do what they need to do but business-places also need to step up their security. I believe at this time in particular they have to take a bit of a review of their own security in the context of weaknesses where they feel there can be strengthening of their security and take those measures to ensure that their customers are safe and their business are safe,” La Corbiniere explained.
As for plans for the new year, La Corbiniere said that while national security remains a constant priority, a revision of some of the legislation pertinent to the police force and fire service is being considered. Continuing the strategies that work, such as having a strong police presence in the “crime hot spots”, and going after criminal gangs remain top priorities, he said.