Tips for a safe holiday: PNP's list of do's and don'ts for crime prevention and safety

December 17, 2010 1:59 pm 

by Maybelline M. Dy

MANILA, Dec. 17 — When the month of December ushered in, police forces all over the country ramped up their efforts to provide a safe yuletide holiday for the Filipino people.

To increase the visibility of the police in Metro Manila, more than a thousand police officers were dispatched to different public places alongside the existing patrolling police officers.

These additional policemen originally assigned to desk jobs, but who need no more training to go out in the field, were sent out to help prevent and combat crime during the Christmas season.

Chief Superintendent Nicanor Bartolome, National Capital Region Police office (NCRPO) regional director, said that crimes such as theft and robbery are expected to rise this time of year, thus the deployment of extra police force in the streets.

He however reiterated that this does not mean the incidence of crime has already increased in the metro. It is merely their way to reduce crime.

With less than two weeks before Christmas, shopping malls, public transportation and other private establishments have also implemented more stringent security measures to protect the public.

Aside from the police officers assigned to the malls, security guards are seen more often with sniffing canines. The Metro Rail Transit (MRT) and the Ligh Rail Transit (LRT) also check baggages and Christmas presents more strictly.

NCRPO spokesperson P/Supt. Dionado Carlos appealed in a recent television interview for the public to extend patience and bear with the inconvenience the extra security measures could possibly cause. He said that cooperation is key in preventing crime.

While the presence of the police and security guards is unequivocally one of the best deterrents of crime, it is also our responsibility to protect ourselves from harm.

It is important to remember that while police forces are working hard for the safety of the people, robbers and thieves are also working double time especially this holiday season.

As an added measure, the Philippine National Police (PNP) has come up with crime prevention and safety tips for the public. Here are some that we can follow when we are out in the street:

—>Keep your wallet in a safe place. Do not place it in a loose pocket like a jacket pocket or the back pocket of your pants. Avoid putting it in the outer pockets of your bag. Also, keep your bag close to your body, preferably where it is easy for you to keep an eye on your bag while walking.

—>Avoid carrying large amounts of money and wearing flashy and expensive jewelry when riding a public transportation.

—>Do not walk in dark alleys and streets where only a very few people pass by. Take secure and well-lighted walkways instead. If you can, walk in the company of other people.

Familiarize yourself with the area where you frequently pass by. Be wary of your surroundings and if you notice someone is following you, go to the nearest building with a security guard right away.

—>Refuse rides offered by strangers.

—>Avoid responding to small talks aimed at you by strangers on the street.

—>Always be on guard for suspicious people wherever you are. If you think someone is tailing you, always go where there are many people, or where there is a security guard or a police officer.

—>If witnessing or in the midst of a crime, stay calm as much as possible. Maintain presence of mind and take note of the physical appearance and other striking details about the criminal. This will help the police identify and capture the robber.

—>Do not argue or fight with armed criminals. They are dangerous and possibly mentally and emotionally unstable. Be calm in speaking with them.

—>When riding a taxi especially at night, write down important details such as plate numbers, body markings, color, and the model of the taxi. Also take note of the time and place when and where you boarded the taxi.

If you can, share this information with another person who is not with you so that other people can know your whereabouts and you can be tracked.

—>When riding a taxi alone, always be at the rear seat of the vehicle. Immediately lock the doors at the rear and passenger seats.

—>Avoid using your cellphone while walking and while riding a public transportation to prevent being a victim of snatching.

—>Prepare your fare prior to boarding any kind of public transportation so you don't have to take out your wallet and possibly expose the other contents of you bag.

Other crime prevention and safety tips are available on PNP's website www.pnp.gov.ph. Let us all put these tips to good use and give ourselves the gift of a safe Christmas this holiday season.(PNA) LOR/MMD/ebp

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