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Women told to exercise caution on Chancellor Hill
Women using the Lady Chancellor Hill to exercise need to pay greater attention to their safety. The advice came from both police and fitness enthusiasts who use the hill regularly as part of their daily exercise routine. On Wednesday morning a woman escaped being raped on the hill when a car approached while she was being attacked.
Keevan Girdharry, who has been using the hill intermittently for the past four years, said he rarely sees police officers in the area. “I have seen them twice, once when I was jogging and the other time was because an event was being held there,” Girdharry said.
Dewayne Berkeley runs to the top of Lady Chancellor Hill three times a week and though he notices a strong police presence and the occasional army vehicle, he also notices more than a dozen women making the run daily by themselves, most with headphones in their ears.
Helen Shair-Singh, who frequents the hill often, said there were certain times women should not be on the hill. “There is a police presence but obviously criminals don’t care about that. It is up to women to take measures to make sure they are safe,” she added. Shair-Singh only uses the hill during what she considers “safe times,” between 6.30 am and 8 am daily and between 4.30 pm and 6 pm on weekdays.
She said during those times there was a consistent flow of human and vehicular traffic. She cautioned women who put on their headphones to listen to music while running or walking. Shair-Singh said they should make sure the volume was low enough so they were aware of what was happening around them.
Sgt Wayne Mystar, police public information officer, said any criminals on the Lady Chancellor Hill was taking a big risk as the area was patrolled by officers of both the Belmont and Morvant Police Stations. The nearby St Clair Police also patrols in the area, he added. An officer from the St Clair Police said the station often received calls about suspicious characters on the hill and responded promptly them.
“Perpetrators will take risks but police officers are mindful of that area as in the past it has been prone to a lot of criminal activity,” he added. Mystar advised women using the hill to get someone to accompany them. “Please do not go by yourself,” he said. He added that there were a lot of alternative areas to exercise and people could choose those that were better populated.
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