(CMR) As we approach the upcoming Easter Holiday period and families are preparing to carry out their annual tradition of camping throughout the Cayman Islands, the RCIPS would like to remind the public of some safety steps they can take to reduce their chances of becoming victims of crime and stay safe while enjoying their festivities and family time.
During the holiday period, it is well known that many residences throughout the Cayman Islands will be vacant while families go camping on the beaches. Incidents of burglaries usually increase during this time of year as burglars take advantage of the vulnerabilities in your homes while they are vacant. With this in mind, we are asking the public to consider the below tips and implement as many as possible before leaving your homes:
-Be sure to properly lock and secure your premises before going camping.
-Be sure to leave lights on inside and outside the property. If you have light timers, it is best to have them set up while away.
Consider storing valuable items within interior rooms in your residence and locking these doors. This will make it harder for would-be thieves to access your valuable possessions.
-Clear any shrubbery, tools, and other such items from your yard, so as not to provide burglars with tools they can use to gain entry or conceal themselves from detection.
-If you have neighbors who will not be camping, consider asking them to keep an eye on your property for you.
-Alternatively, if you have other family members who are not camping, ask them to come by and check your property a few times over the period.
-Consider leaving the campsite occasionally and making checks on your property.
-If you have windows and door shutters, put these up while away.
-Consider implementing alarms and camera systems if you are able, especially those that can be monitored from your mobile phones, and alert you immediately.
While you are at the campsites, there are also a few tips for you to consider:
Be sure to secure your belongings when camping. Remain vigilant of your valuables at all times.
As camping does come with some risks, pay very close attention to children for their safety, especially around fires and in the water.
Ensure young children wear proper floatation devices and are under constant adult supervision.
Try to ensure there are persons within your campsite who are up to date with CPR/first-aid training and that there is a first-aid kit on site.
Use the buddy system and ensure that someone knows where you are at all times.
While camping, it is also important to follow all relevant laws and not to trespass on private property. However, owners of waterfront property should also remember that their beachside property boundaries do not extend past the high-water mark and that the public is permitted to access the beach up to that point, in accordance with the Land Survey Regulations (2018 Revision) section 28 and the Development and Planning Regulations (2022 Revision) section 8 (10).
Ensure that you keep your mobile phones charged and in good condition at all times so that in the event of an emergency, you can call for help. Be sure not to drink and drive. Exercise caution on our roadways and follow the traffic law while traveling.
Identify a responsible person, or persons, at each campsite to take the lead on any incidents that may occur.
Any animals taken to the campsite must be properly tethered so as not to pose a risk/annoyance to others.
Ensure that your campsites act according to the Towns and Communities Act. This includes no loud music or noises which may cause a nuisance to nearby communities.
Ensure that you obey the National Conservation Laws, observing seasonal marine life closures and limits.
Remember that littering is against the law. Ensure that you clean up the campsites and beaches before leaving your designated areas.
“Our officers are properly briefed, and each unit has a role to play during the holiday season,” said Ag. Superintendent Brad Ebanks.
“Our community officers will be making regular visits to campsites and speaking with campers to encourage safety and, at the same time, ensure that the peace is being kept. Our traffic officers will show a heightened presence on our roadways to encourage good driving behavior and discourage DUI and speeding especially. There will also be increased patrols in residential areas during the days and nights to provide as much coverage as possible. We are asking for the public’s assistance to help us in this task by heeding the safety tips provided as much as possible,” he added.