PHILIPSBURG - The Police Force of Sint Maarten is without any doubt doing its utmost, to protect you, your family and your property, in combating crime and criminals. The Public Relations Office of the Sint Maarten Police Force is therefore offering the community, the following safety tips, to help them prepare against crime.
Remember the 3 A’s of Crime Prevention:
- Be Aware of your surroundings at all times.
- Be Alert to suspicious people and vehicles.
- Avoid dangerous situations.
If you are leaving home and out for the evening:
- - Turn on lights, radio or television so that it looks like some-one is at home.
- - Lock all doors and windows well, even if you are just leaving for a few minutes.
- - Don’t display items where they can be seen from the outside.
- Park your car in a well-lit area and make sure all windows and doors are
- - Avoid carrying a large amount of cash. Don’t flash cash around and carry it in a safe place on you.
- - If you have to use the ATM-machine, pay close attention to suspicious persons hanging around the machine. If that’s the case pass up that machine and find another.
- - Carry all wallets in the front pockets and carry purses close to your body.
- - Keep your children close to you while attending any activities and don’t let them get separated from you.
- - Pay attention to persons walking in front and behind you. (Especially in crowded places favorable for pickpockets)
- - When returning to your vehicle or your home, have your keys in your hands ready to open the door.
- - Before entering your vehicle, check front and rear and seats for any one that may be hiding there. Lock doors immediately after entering.
- Ask your neighbor to keep a watchful eye out for you.
- Drinking and driving is a danger to everyone. Remember that the risks of
drinking and driving are not worth it. If you choose to drink, don’t drive.
Make use of a designated driver or public transportation. (Taxi or bus)
Make sure that you know where your kids are at all times and that they
Safety tips in the event of an armed robbery
The police force of Sint Maarten is doing its utmost to protect you from crime. Unfortunately a crime such as armed robbery does occur in our community. This is a criminal act that has a serious impact on the victims as well as the entire community. Because it’s better to be safe than sorry, here has some precautions listed for you. If they are followed correctly they may help you prevent a robbery and keep you safe.
Precautions (Mainly for the business community)
- Always bear in mind to observe your environment. You, off course, know best
what’s ‘normal’ in your own surroundings, so if you see any suspicious persons or
vehicles, don’t hesitate to call the police (911). Give them a good description of
the people or vehicle that seems suspicious to you. Good observation only can
take place when your business and surrounding areas are well lit, so repair broken
lights or install new ones.
- Make sure you have as little money as possible in your store. Take your money to
safer places regularly, for instance a bank. In case your store does get robbed, the
robbers don’t have a big gain.
- Make sure your shop closes at the hour that’s on your permit. Don’t let your last
late coming customer be the one who takes all the money you’ve earned that
- If you have the opportunity; buy some camera’s that record whoever comes into
your store. The images recorded on the camera’s can really help the police in their
When, in spite of all the taken precautions, a robbery still does take place, the Sint Maarten Police Force has got the following do’s and don’ts for you:
When the robbery is taking place
- Stay calm, because you are a better observer when you are calm.
- Watch out for your own safety.
- Let the robber(s) know you intend to cooperate, this will keep the robber calm
as well. You
certainly don’t want him to panic.
- Try to follow their orders precisely and calmly.
- If you must move or reach for something, inform the robber first so they’ll
know what to expect.
- Hit the alarm when it is safe to do so.
- If you can, call security even if you have activated the alarm. Think of a right
time to alarm possible bystanders too. They can help you by, for example,
calling the police or taking a good look at the suspect. Two pairs of eyes see
more than one.
- Don’t focus on the weapon, but try to observe the surrounding area. Observe
every detail about the robber and note the means and direction of the escape
(if you can). This information is very important for forensics and further investigation.
- Try not to resist
- Never outwardly panic.
- When you scream, gesture or do anything to call attention to the situation, first
think of the right time to do so.
- Never assume that a gun is not real, not loaded, or that a young and innocent
looking robber will not shoot you.
- Do not offer or volunteer more than is demanded.
- Make no sudden movements that may anger the robber or cause them to panic.
After the robbery has occurred:
- Call the police as soon as you can and secure the scene to preserve any
evidence. Lock the doors; keep people away from the areas that the robbers were
in and secure any and all evidence that may have been left behind by the
suspects. Also don’t touch anything the robber has touched. These measures are
extremely important for the forensic investigation.
- Immediately write down information about the incident and robbers specifically.
- Write down exactly what you saw, and have anyone who had seen the event do
the same. Ask witnesses to stay with you until the police have arrived.
- Only record factual information. Do not guess at anything you are unsure of and
do not compare your own information with witnesses. The more factual
information we have got, the better it is for our investigation.
- Get as much information about the escape without going after them:
- What means did they use?
- What direction did they go?
- Were there any accomplices
- If they used a car, what are the make, model, and color or tag number?
- If people, who saw what happened cannot stay, get their name, address and
telephone number for the police. They might be important witnesses who can help
us catch whoever committed the robbery.
What to tell 911?
- We have been robbed.
- Identify yourself; make very clear where you are.
- Stay on the line and answer the questions the police employee asks you.
Tips to prevent street robberies
- - Avoid dark areas, dark areas form a risk because most robbers tend to rob people in dark areas
- - Don’t go to the ATM during dark hours, plan ahead and get your cash during safer times
- - Avoid carrying a lot of cash and other valuables
- - Trust your instincts, if you sense trouble, get away as soon as possible
- - Take a Taxi instead of walking home. If you have to walk, take some company
- - Be very alert and observant
- - Keep your money close to you, preferably not in a purse that hangs free from your hand
- - Don’t advertise; don’t wear expensive or fancy looking jewelry
When, in spite of the abovementioned tips, a robbery does take place, here are some things you can do to make it easier for the police to catch the robber:
- - Stay calm
- - Don’t be a hero, your life is worth more than your money
- - Take a good look at the robber. Make mental notes about the robber. Give the dispatcher all the details you can remember about the robber(s) so the police patrols on the street can start an investigation immediately
- - Note the direction of the robber when he leaves
- - Try to get a description of the vehicle, if the robber uses one
- - Call 911 as soon as possible
- - If there are any witnesses, ask them to remain with you until the police arrive. If they can’t, get their name, address and phone number
Go to the nearest police station to file a report.