Last update: 12-Dec-2013 4:05 am
Thursday, December 12, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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US Embassy, CDA warn visitors to Chag
The Chaguaramas Development Authority (CDA) plans to upgrade security in the peninsula after a United States national was sexually assaulted while jogging in Chaguaramas last week. On October 23, the US Embassy updated its travel advisory to T&T stating that “sexual assaults against women were on the rise.”
CDA’s public relations officer Peter Campbell said in a media release yesterday that the CDA’s current safety and security initiatives include CCTV coverage and a signage throughout the Peninsula displaying the CDA’s emergency hotline: 634-1010. Campbell said there will be mobile and foot patrols and posting of advisories throughout the peninsula on personal security and safety measures to be adopted by citizens.
“The CDA plans for 100 per cent recruitment in officers within CDA’s Security and Risk Department (SRD) by December 2013, further expansion of the CCTV system, increasing signage placements and continued training of CDA’s SRD officers in crime detection and as first responders. Posting of public advisories on personal security and safety measures.”
In a security message for US citizens, the US Embassy in Port-of-Spain said local authorities confirm that there were sexual assaults and attempted sexual assaults against women were on the rise.
“These reports have been verified by the T&T Police Service, and they confirm an increase in such assaults in areas around the savannah, Chancellor Hill, and Chaguaramas. Most of the incidents are taking place during daylight hours. According to the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service, these attacks appear to be random, indiscriminate, and opportunist in nature,” the statement said. The message said attackers target women who are walking/jogging by themselves, regardless of dress, age, or other factors.
“All the women were wearing headphones and listening to iPods at the time, which may be a contributing factor to them being targeted. While US citizens are not being specifically targeted, we strongly urge that you employ intelligent security measures.” The advisory suggested:
• Joggers should avoid walking or running alone.
• Refrain from wearing headphones when walking or jogging.
• Be prepared by being aware of your surroundings at all times. Never be worried about being rude when you remove yourself from an uncomfortable situation. It is far better to appear to be rude than to become a victim of sexual assault. It is better to be distrustful and remove yourself from a situation than have to regret not doing so later.
• Always tell someone where you are going, be extremely vigilant at all times.
• If at a party or nightclub, never leave your drink unattended.
• Carry a cellphone with you in case of emergency.
• Never be afraid to ask someone you trust for a security escort to your car.
• US citizens travelling to or residing in Trinidad and Tobago enroll in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Programme (STEP) at http:// www.travel.state.gov/or trinidad.usembassy.gov and for travellers to regularly monitor the State Department’s Web site.
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