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Barbadians, especially elderly persons, are being warned to exercise vigilance when going about their day-to-day activities.

This advice has come from Crime Prevention Officer, Stephen Griffith, who added that "our elderly are sometimes the target of criminal elements in our society".

Specifying that most incidents of crime occur when persons [elderly] are walking the streets, shopping in stores, using their vehicles and at home, Mr. Griffith pointed out that merely following simple guidelines could minimise these occurrences.

He noted that persons, while out shopping, should not display large sums of money; should use cheques, bank cards or credit cards where possible; when feasible take a friend or family member when going shopping; and avoid running errands on the same day every week.

The official explained that when it came to banking, individuals should use direct deposits of pension cheques or money orders, as well as place unused valuables such as jewellery and private documents in a safe deposit box.

"Avoid going to the ATM alone, especially at night; use ATMs that are in well lit and populated places; be careful who you allow to sign your cheques or who can access your account; and, just as importantly, be careful with persons with get rich quick schemes.?? Always consult with a family member, friend or call the Police," Mr. Griffith cautioned.

The Crime Prevention Officer emphasised that protecting the home was also of the utmost importance.?? He pointed out that a common mistake, such as placing keys under the mat on the outside of the house, was still a regular practice.

"Too often people are making careless mistakes and these can have serious repercussions.?? Instead, ensure that your doors and windows are locked; use a security chain on your door and clear shrubbery from around the house.?? Also, avoid walking in dark areas; carry only what you need and always have your keys ready when you approach your home.?? Hence, by following these simple tips, it could make the world of difference," Mr. Griffith stated.

theresa.blackman@barbados.gov.bb

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