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Dec 24, 2009

How safe do shoppers feel during the holiday?

Story PictureThe Christmas Holiday is upon us, and that comes with its own risks. Police are already reporting an increase in the number of burglaries and robberies of fourteen and eight percent respectively. The recent spate of shootings in the city—three in one night—has residents on edge. Police say they are on full alert because with the spike in crime, prevention is better than cure. Duane Moody hit the streets and got a mixed reaction from the public.

Duane Moody, Reporting
Albert Street was swinging with the hustle and bustle of shoppers on their last minute Christmas shopping. Some were picking up marleys, Christmas trees, decorations, and gifts. But while it appeared business as usual, many are fearful that criminals are on loose.

Christmas Shopper #1
“There is a fear. I am scared as hell walking the streets you never know because people are so desperate. You have some families weh really noh have and that’s their only alternative to turn to robbing people. So you have to be watch your backs when your walking and be careful how you have your money and how yoh di expose it.”

Duane Moody
“Do you feel safe for this Christmas holiday and the weekend?”

Christmas Shopper #2
“To be truthful, no I do not feel safe, no way at all yoh feel safe. And worst pan the holidays yoh noh feel safe but weh we can do? There is nothing we can do about it. Just go along with the program until such noh.”

Christmas Shopper #3
“I think you just have to take a lot of precaution because you never know. You can’t say it will never happen to you because times really have changed and its like we are prisoners in our own homes at times.”

But we found some brave shoppers who say crime won’t dampen their sprits.

Christmas Shopper #4
“I am not scared, I have no fear. I think we live in a good country, with a few bad people, but I think it’s gonna be alright.”

Christmas Shopper #5
“I noh fraid because I already beat a robber. One held me up a morning at Gush and Emy and he got the worst of it I pound his ass good. So I’m not afraid. That is not to say that you’re not cautious and careful, but at the same time if you give into the fear you will live behind bars until we all die. I don’t think so. I have my bags, I’m shopping and I got my pepper spray in my bag and I got a stun gun. So I am a well armed woman.”

Christmas Shopper #6
“Personally, I have seen a lot of police presence and it is really encouraging to see the effort the police department is making. I feel fairly safe shopping this Christmas.”

And the police say that they have boosted patrols but ask the public to be cautious and to keep away from excessive drinking.

ASP Linden Flowers, O.C., Police Patrol Branch
“We continue to ask people to be more vigilant and alert in their neighbourhood to know when if you are leaving your house to bramming or whatever you do around this time, it’s easy to let a trusted neighbor know that you are not at home. Know how to manage your lighting facilities at your house or maybe leave someone at your home if you are in a vulnerable area; some areas are more vulnerable than others and are prone to have persons coming in. but we have, over the period set up some neighborhood watches and so one and those can be activated. Drinking alcohol is another issue. People traditional come to be drinking everything around. Drink responsibly and remember that the age of consuming alcohol is eighteen. You also driving at eighteen years old, so somebody might have just gotten a new car or is borrowing a relative’s car or renting one, we want them to drive safely or get a designated driver so you don’t need to run off the roads of Belize because come next week you want to be with your family.”

Duane Moody, reporting for News Five.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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