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Shopping tips for Christmas

Sunday, December 22, 2013

As the Ministry of National Security airs its Christmas awareness campaign for shoppers, ASP Joanne Archie of the Police Service’s communications unit is advising members of the public to exercise due vigilance while shopping during the festive season. She also provided several Christmas safety tips. 



Archie said the Christmas holidays were just a few days away, and the T&T Police Service continued to advise members of the public to exercise safety during this period. She said while Christmas was a season for caring and sharing, if you feel compelled to donate, be aware of fictitious so-called ‘needy cases’ which people with ulterior motives may approach you to support.



Archie said, “The Street Collections (Controls) states that when soliciting donations a permit from the Commissioner of Police must be first obtained and the applicant must write to the CoP not later than one month before the date on which it was proposed to make the collection.”


Archie said if women used babies and children to commit crimes such as shoplifting or scoping out a place and the police have evidence of them endangering the life of the child, the mother could be charged and the courts could make any decision related to the welfare of the child. She said the scenario of the hapless robbery victim having to go to a certain police station because the crime occurred on one side of the street was a thing of the past, as people can now go to any police station throughout the country to make a report. 


Meanwhile, Deputy General Manager of marketing and communications at the Public Transport Service Corporation (PTSC) Carl Ramdeo said the corporation’s Park and Ride System introduced in Port-of-Spain and San Fernando for the Christmas season was the solution to the traffic congestion and wrecking problem in both cities. Ramdeo said it would take some time, however, for the system to be ingrained in commuters because of the convenience, cost factor, paying $20 for the service versus $500 for the wrecker.


He said Park and Ride would also be rolled out for Carnival 2014. Shaffick Mohammed, a provision vendor on Charlotte Street, warned shoppers, especially women, not to come in town with gold, as bandits were snatching chains and cellphones. He said there was a visible police and army presence, and plainclothes police also that were working out, but there were still “little skirmishes.” A merchant said she was concerned about the spate of gun violence recently in the city. 



Be wary of:
•The fake jewelry scam, the con-artist says the jewelry he’s selling came from a broken-in jewelry store.
•Losing money in three-card game instead of using the money for shopping for the family.
• Don’t buy from people who are selling reasonably priced Scotch whiskey on the streets. They are filling the bottles with green tea.
• Look out for counterfeit money.


•Be careful when opening your wallets and purses to hand over cash.
A businessman who trains in modern martial arts advised that wallets be secured by a chain, during a snatch and run of a woman's purse or handbag one tactic was for her to open her bag and scatter the contents on the floor.
He said time was the criminal’s enemy; if he stopped to pick up valuables, she can either run away, be able to defend herself, or get someone’s attention.
•Avoid wearing excessive jewelry or carrying large sums of cash whilst shopping, especially in crowded shopping areas.
•Place packages in the trunk of your car to avoid break-ins.
•Do not use video arcades, toy stores, or a movie theatre as a baby sitter, predators may be on the prowl looking for unattended kids at this time of year. If you must take a child shopping with you, always keep them within your view. If you send your children to another department of the store, be sure that an adult is with them. A name tag with pertinent information may be attached to the child’s clothing.


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