More security for holidays
BUSINESS OWNERS have been urged to step up their security and overall vigilance for the busy Christmas period.
That advice came from Acting Commissioner of Police Bertie Hinds during the launch of the annual Operation Yuletide, at Chapel Street, The City, yesterday.
Officers will be out in force for stepped up 24-hour surveillance, which will be in place through January 3.
“The force is asking persons to cooperate with us – businesspersons, banks, supermarkets, gas stations . . . . And by cooperation I mean with those particular entities to beef up their security, to ensure that their security architecture is in place and they have the best possible equipment so that if we do not prevent, we can detect any perpetrator who might attack these buildings or establishments or businesses, as the case may be,” Hinds suggested.
He is also encouraging shoppers and people conducting business to exercise caution.
“Be alert to [your] surroundings and be careful when people approach [you] offering goodies and so on, not to fall. Because, of course, you will have people who are bent on criminal activity . . . in The City, and all about Barbados for that matter. So we just want [you] to be careful who you engage with. Make sure that your cash is secure and of course your valuables like cellphones, chains and so on . . . and be aware of your surroundings,” he advised.
Hinds said the Operation Yuletide exercise was put on for crime prevention purposes.
“[It is] obviously detection of criminal activity, but primarily to reassure the public of Barbados that the eyes and ears and the beat of the police will be around so that they could do their business in a safe environment,” Hinds said.
He said a number of senior officers were put in charge of the various divisions covering from St Lucy to Christ Church.
Even though Operation Yuletide concludes early in the New Year, Hinds said the increased vigilance will continue until the end of the tourist season in April.
Hinds said the regular policing duties will continue during this period, with administrative duties being scaled down to boost resources. Vacation leave has not been suspended, Hinds said, but indications are that officers who were on leave “may well be willing to return to work a couple of days out of their vacation and that should supplement our numbers very well”.
“I am confident that we will have enough resources to police the country over the Christmas period,” he said, adding that there would also be some special traffic arrangements in place for the season as well.
A mobile unit has been set up on Chapel Street and another is expected to be in place at Warren’s, St Micheal. (YB)