Police issue tips to the public

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Armed Robbery Prevention Tips for Business Persons and  Warning to Prolific or Potential Criminals

The number of armed robberies that have occurred in New Providence over the past few days and weeks, in particular at various business establishments, is enough to raise serious concern.

It is with this in mind that the Royal Bahamas Police Force has intensified it efforts to restore peace and tranquility in our communities, particularly in New Providence.

We are resolute in disrupting the activities of criminals in particular those who are commit armed robbery, putting our residents and business persons in fear. We will ensure that they are not able to continue reap havoc and fear in our communities.

In keeping with our 2010 policing plan we belief that an informed community is a safer community. Hence we wish to provide members of the public in particular businesses and business owners with practical advice to reduce their chances of becoming a victim of armed robbery.

Armed Robbery

Armed robbery is one of the most serious and potentially dangerous crimes committed in the Bahamas today.
An armed robbery is a traumatic experience for witnesses and victims. All premises and vehicles that handle or carry cash are potential robbery targets.

Analysis of the Recent Armed Robberies

•    Robbers are using high powered weapons such as  AK 47 Rifles handguns
•    These armed robberies usually took less than 90 seconds.
•    The robberies seem to be well organized
•    The robbers seem to have good knowledge of the operations of the businesses
•    The suspects are using stolen vehicles
•    Businesses are the primary target of the robbers
•    The robbers are often hyped-up, stressed and irrational – possibly on drugs.
•    All of the robbers wanted quick access to cash

Armed Robbery Prevention Tips

•    Your first concern should always be for your own safety and that of your staff
•    It is wise to plan for the possibility of an armed robbery. Develop a set procedures for all and certain staff to follow. This process can help minimize risk, reduce your loss, prevent injury or even death and help Police apprehend the offender/s.
•    Large businesses with high cash flow should have cash collected at all times by a security company.
•    Conduct banking regularly but at different times.
•    Limiting public view and access to the cash register/till.
•    Install Video surveillance covering ‘at risk’ internal and external areas. Advertise this fact e.g. “Video Surveillance Cameras in Use”. They serves as a deterrent and provide evidence of robberies
•    Consider installing Monitored alarm systems and panic alarms buttons
•    Consider installing electronic sensors that buzz or ring each time a person enters or leaves the premises.
•    Do diligent background check of new employees
•    Installing detector lighting around entrances and exits, car parks and routes to premises.
•    Establish Business Crime Watch Groups in your area
•    Ensure that your security systems are always in good working order
•    Upgrade your security systems from time to time
•    Employees should be trained to watch for and report suspicious actions of people inside and immediately outside the premises. Don’t hesitate to call the police at 9-1-1 when worried about a potential risk.

In the event of a robbery

If an armed robbery occurs on your premises or you witness an armed robbery, the overall aim is to ensure the offender/s leaves the premises as soon as possible without injury or harm to anyone. Survival is the number one rule.

•    As best you can, remain calm and exercise self-control. Don’t play the hero or resist. This can put other people at unnecessary risk.

•    Co-operate. Listen carefully and do what you are told without question. DON’T make sudden movements, talk to, or stare at the offender.

•    If the offender has a firearm, consider it loaded. Your life and personal safety is far more important than any money.

•    Without staring, note the offenders’ description – physical features, clothing, weapon/s and actions (see the fact sheet on “Giving a good description”).

•    If it is safe, note the direction the offenders go following the robbery. If appropriate, also note vehicle details – colour, make and licence plate number. Don’t chase the offender/s.

•    Dial 919 as soon as the offender has left. Stay on the line to Police and provide as much information as possible about what happened.

•    It’s important to preserve the scene for evidential purposes. Restrict entrance after the robbery, isolate the area/s used by the offender and ask witnesses to stay until Police have arrived and spoken with them. Don’t touch anything the offender may have touched e.g. doors or a demand note.

Warning to Criminals

Today we are sending a powerful message to some of our most prolific offenders who continues to reap havoc in our society. We want them to know that we know who they are and we are coming to get them. These prolific offenders are a relatively small number of people who cause a disproportionate amount of crime and disorder in local communities.  Members of the public can rest assured that these prolific offenders life of crime is running out.

It is about letting those who commit crime know we will disrupt their lifestyle as much as possible until they are brought behind bars.
We are doing this to show our communities they don’t have to suffer. If they come forward and tell us who is using guns, and who are committing these criminal acts, we will do something about it.

Communities have to stand shoulder to shoulder with us. If they don’t like what is going on around them, they have to help us stop it.”
Members of the Public

To you members of the public if you know of anyone involved in criminal activity or if you know of anyone who possess an illegal firearm please do not hesitate to call the police.

If you see something suspicious and feels strange about (it), you should call the police right then and there. Don’t wait. Trust your natural instincts. When you feel there is something wrong, it’s okay to call us, even if it turns out in the long run to be nothing at all. We don’t ever penalize people for calling.

Our intensely driven approach is to boost public confidence at a time when many residents feel most vulnerable, and to put fear and uncertainty into the minds of criminals.

The Royal Bahamas Police Force remains committed to working in partnership with members of the public to making the Bahamas a safer place to Live, Work, Visit or Play.

WE WILL NOT TOLERATE OUR COUNTRY BEING RUINED BY A HANDFUL OF PEOPLE!!