Persons attending parties or other events during the Christmas celebrations are being reminded to be mindful of their safety.
The police advises individuals to be alert and vigilant when attending these events, as while they may not be the target of persons carrying out nefarious activities, they could be inadvertently affected.
Head of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) Corporate Communications Unit (CCU), Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Stephanie Lindsay, told a Jamaica Information Service (JIS) ‘Think Tank’ on December 14 that while the police conduct their risk assessment of these eventualities, patrons must also take personal responsibility for their safety.
“You can become a victim by just being a patron at an event, and individuals there may be having conflicts. You need to make certain checks before you go to events. Are there issues… [in]… the area that the event is being held… that could impact me? You [should also] arrange your transportation [and determine] how will you get there and how will you get home,” SSP Lindsay said.
She explained that the safety of persons is of great importance to the police, adding that assessments are done before event permits are granted.
“We also do what we call a threat and risk assessment [where], if you’re having an event in an area where [there is] ongoing gang feud, violence, [and] unresolved conflicts that the perpetrators could use the public gathering as an opportunity to attack persons who are their intended target, then we won’t grant a permit,” SSP Lindsay pointed out.
“The safety of patrons is very big. It’s something that we look at as a priority when granting event permits, and that is why there are some instances where people apply for a permit and they are not granted, because of safety and security concerns,” she added.
The senior officer also advises persons not to become intoxicated at events, which would hamper their ability to think and respond clearly.
“You… want to make sure that you don’t drink too much [to the point] where you are not very conscious of what’s happening around [you]. At the event, you still need to be careful [and] look to see what’s happening,” SSP Lindsay emphasised.
She pointed out that, in some instances, party promoters have agreements with ride sharing companies, who provide transportation for persons after events.
“You don’t want to be intoxicated and going to take a taxi, [and] you’re not sure you’re taking a legitimate taxi, and become a victim,” SSP Lindsay further underscored.