By Eddy Smith
As Vincymas kicks off in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and we gear up for the much-anticipated season, there’s an urgent matter that we must not ignore — the incidence of property crimes. Criminal elements exploit our collective distraction during the carnival season, awaiting a chance to “eat ah food” at our expense. While we are busy celebrating, these offenders are attentively waiting for us to slip up, taking advantage of the lapse in our attentiveness to commit burglaries, robberies and theft.
Let’s not forget to remain alert and take the necessary actions to safeguard our homes and properties. Here’s a rallying cry for all of us to act responsibly and decisively to prevent these opportunistic crimes.
- Lock up before you step out: In the rush to join the festivities, it’s all too easy to overlook the basics. This Vincymas, make it a habit to double-check all doors and windows before leaving your home. Don’t give thieves a chance. Act now.
- Lighting: Well-lit exteriors can deter potential burglars, as they increase the risk of detection. Consider installing motion sensor lights outside your home to illuminate any movement.
- Engage your neighbors: Before you head out, inform a trusted neighbour about your plans. A community that looks out for each other is the strongest defence against opportunistic crimes. Make the first move and initiate that conversation today.
- Stay discreet: Don’t flaunt your valuable possessions or advertise your absence on social media. Thieves are often on the lookout for such clues. Exercise discretion to avoid attracting unnecessary attention.
- Trim your landscape: Overgrown shrubs and trees can provide cover for burglars. Keep your yard tidy and open to make it less appealing for someone to hide.
- Keep valuables out of sight: Don’t make your home a tempting target. Keep expensive items out of view from the outside.
- Security signage: Even if you don’t have a security system, consider displaying signage suggesting you do. This alone might be enough to discourage potential thieves.
- Inventory your property: Keep a record of your valuables, including photographs and serial numbers, in case of theft. This will help in recovery and insurance claims.
- Personal safety awareness: Be aware of your surroundings at all times, especially in crowded places where pickpockets might operate, or in quiet areas where you might be more vulnerable. If something or someone seems suspicious, trust your instincts and avoid that situation. Where possible, stay in well-lit areas, avoid shortcuts, and walk in groups.
- Implement a personal emergency protocol: Prepare a plan in advance for what you will do if you find yourself in a threatening situation. This could include having a designated “safe” word or phrase to alert family or friends discreetly during a phone call, having emergency numbers pre-set in your phone for quick dialling, or carrying a personal alarm or whistle to attract attention. Always prioritise your personal safety above possessions. Remember, items can be replaced; your well-being cannot. This mindset can help you act more calmly and wisely in a crisis situation.
Remember, our actions today will determine our peace of mind tomorrow. Let’s not allow the fear of crime to cast a shadow over the festivities. We can and must act now to secure our homes and ensure that carnival remains a time of pure celebration, devoid of any concerns. Let’s make the carnival season not just a display of our vibrant culture, but also a testament to our commitment to safety and communal solidarity. Take action today, secure your joy, and let’s embrace a worry-free Vincymas.