What seems like obvious advice from the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) for a lot of persons is actually new and valuable information for many. Inspector Roger Alexander and Journalist Marlan Hopkinson on the CCN TV6 programme Beyond the Tape have offered useful advice numerous times to persons who wish to see change in T&T. Here is the advice from the TTPS shared on the programme in a nutshell.
Give information to the TTPS
Inspector Alexander explained that persons should give information to the TTPS about criminals if they want crimes to be solved. He clarified that this is not the same as “snitching” where gang members give the police information about their partners in order to help themselves.
People who have information for the TTPS but feel worried to give it to random police officers may text or WhatsApp:
– Beyond the Tape at 868-348-0189
– Crime Stoppers at 800-Tips (8477)
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Let TTPS do their jobs
While some people try to fix the crime situation, others obstruct those who attempt to find solutions. Representatives of the TTPS often speak about the challenges they face when executing warrants for arrests. Inspector Alexander has asked people many times to let police officers do their jobs. He stated that you should “mind your business” and do not interfere with police business.
Stop supporting criminals
Inspector Alexander has begged families, friends and neighbours to stop supporting the actions of criminals in their communities. He has asked mothers to stop accepting expensive gifts from their unemployed sons, women to stop hiding weapons, drugs and stolen items for their boyfriends, and neighbours to stop defending the perpetrators when questioned by police officers. They should not wait until the dishonest ways of the criminals personally affect them.
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The advice to “be vigilant” is commonly chanted by families, friends and police officers but it is not always practised by many persons. Police officers of the TTPS advise you to:
– Look back when walking or driving and if you think you are being followed do not go home, go to a crowded location or a police station.
– Enter and close your gate while facing the street, observe your surroundings and leave your yard if you see or hear anything unusual.
– Turn on your outside lights at night or install censors to turn them on automatically.
– Build relationships with your neighbours so they can keep an eye on your home and vice versa.
– Observe when persons are acting suspiciously in an enclosed place such as a store or bar and exit the premises.
– Take note of physical attributes of persons with suspicious behaviour and the license plates, colour and models of vehicles that perform strange actions.
If more people are vigilant then criminals would have less people to target.
Don’t put yourself at risk
While many persons prefer to do as they please, criminals look for opportunities to rob others of their possessions or cause harm. The TTPS often advises persons not to:
– Display expensive phones and jewellery to members of the public.
– Walk alone on dismal streets late at night.
– Give out personal information on social media.
– Carry around large sums of cash on self.
– Meet with sellers of items at unfamiliar locations.
When there are less people exposed to risky situations, then there would be less incidents of criminal activity.
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Many persons have been victims of scams because someone took advantage of their unsuspecting nature. Inspector Alexander and Mr Hopkinson addressed this situation on their programme after a woman in T&T had sent TT$40,000 to a man who promised her marriage but asked for the money to buy her wedding dress and accessories.
Also, they discussed the incident of a supplier who received a manager’s cheque at a time when it was too late to call the bank. The customer’s truck was loaded with goods that were dropped off to a location but was removed before the supplier discovered the manager’s cheque was false. Viewers were reminded, “If it is too good to be true then it probably is,” and advised to be smart and think before giving away your belongings.
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