Firearm and Ammunition Seized in Kingston- Four Men in Custody

Four persons were taken into custody following the seizure of a firearm and several rounds of ammunition during a Vehicular Check Point (VCP) along Port Royal Street, Downtown, Kingston on Sunday, December 22.

Reports are that about 11:05 p.m., lawmen were conducting routine checks in the area when they signaled the driver of a Mazda Demeo motor car to stop. The vehicle and its occupants were searched and one  Smith and Wesson .38 revolver loaded with five (5) rounds of ammunition was found in a white sock on the floor of the vehicle. All four men were subsequently arrested however their identities are being withheld pending further investigations.

Man Charged with Larceny of Motor Vehicle and Conspiracy

Thirty-six-year-old Andre Cohen, haulage contractor of 7 East Greater Portmore, St. Catherine was charged with Larceny of Motor Vehicle and Conspiracy to Larceny of Motor Vehicle on Friday, December 20.

The charges stem from the theft of the complainant’s motor vehicle from Diamond Avenue in Eltham Park, Spanish Town in the parish on Wednesday, December 18. Reports are that about 2:14 a.m., the accused and two men stole the car from the complainant’s yard. An alarm was raised and citizens intercepted the motor vehicle and apprehended the accused. The other men escaped. The accused was later handed over to the Police and subsequently charged. His court date will be announced soon.

Two Charged With Housebreaking and Larceny

Two persons are to face the court to answer to the charge of Housebreaking and Larceny committed in Kingston West and St.Elizabeth Divisions.

Charged are:

  • A 16-year-old boy; and
  • Fifty-four-year-old Conroy Lawrence, a taxi operator of Fyffes Pen, St. Elizabeth.

The teenager was charged after he was implicated in the Monday, March 11th break-in at a  business place at the intersection of Spanish Town Road and West street in Kingston. Reports are that the complainant securely locked his business place and left. On his return, he found the locks to the establishment removed, the door open and grocery items and appliances removed from the store. 

The teenager was arrested on Wednesday, December 11th and subsequently charged on Saturday, December 21 following a question and answer session.

His court date is being finalized.

13 Tips When Driving on Highways

    Buckle up

    Although a common tip, buckling your seatbelt is essential. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), seat belt use helped save over 14,000 lives in 2016. About 90% of Americans wear seat belts, yet some drivers and passengers don’t take the risk seriously and still don’t wear seatbelts. Before leaving home, be sure to put on your seatbelt (and remind your fellow riders too) so you all can be safe while on the highway.

    Put down the cell phone

    It’s so tempting to reach for your cell phone when you hear that “bing”, but it’s especially unsafe to text and drive on the interstate. Sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for 5 seconds. At 55 mph, that’s like driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed.” If you have an iPhone that’s iOS 11 and above, you can use the Do Not Disturb While Driving feature to send contacts an automated message that allows you to stay focused while you’re on the road.

    Don’t reach for your cell phone while driving to keep yourself, riders and other drivers safe. Instead, wait until you’re pulled over to a safe location before responding to texts and notifications.

    Use the right lane for passing

    Be considerate of other drivers by driving in the left lane and using the right lane for passing. Some states have laws in place that will fine or ticket drivers who ride in the left lane without the intention of passing. If you stay in the left lane and other drivers behind you need to get by, they may try to make a dangerous move by passing on the right. Causing traffic to build up behind you is also a safety hazard. If you don’t intend to pass another driver, be considerate and allow other drivers to pass on your left.

    Carefully get out of your vehicle after an accident

    If you’re ever in an accident on the interstate, do your best to pull as far off of the road as much as you can. This will help to prevent you or other drivers from getting hurt. It’s easy to think that you’re safe while on the side of the road, but distracted drivers may not notice you or your vehicle. It’s very dangerous to get out of your vehicle while on the interstate, but if you have to, pull over as much as you can into a safer spot.

    Don’t drive too closely

    Don’t drive too closely to the vehicle ahead of you while on the interstate. While you might be tempted to rush someone, you could end up putting your life and others lives at risk. If the person ahead of you happens to hit their brakes abruptly, you may not have time to stop and could rear-end them. Leave some extra buffer room, especially on the interstate, between yourself and the next vehicle so you and other drivers can stay safe. As a good rule of thumb, consider the type of vehicle that’s ahead of you, and leave enough room so that you have three or more seconds to stop. The National Safety Council recommends the three-second rule, but as always, carefully consider how much room you may really need.

    Watch your speed

    Be mindful of your speed while on the interstate. In 2017, the Bureau of Transportation Statistics stated that “[s]peeding continues to be the number one cited driver-related factor in highway fatal crashes.” As tempted as you might be to speed, it could cost you, your riders and other drivers their lives. Always take note the of the speed limit and adjust accordingly.

    Let it go

    Road rage is a real issue, but it’s better to overlook another driver’s mistake or negligent behaviour. SafeMotorist.com reports that “66% of traffic fatalities are caused by aggressive driving.” While it might not be easy to ignore someone else’s mistakes on the interstate, it’s necessary. Rather than getting frustrated and driving aggressively after another driver makes a careless mistake, it’s better to take a deep breath and let it go.

    Be considerate of tractor-trailer drivers

    It’s important to remember while driving on the interstate to be considerate of tractor-trailer drivers. One good thing to remember is that if you’re behind a truck and not able to see the driver, then he or she likely cannot see your car either. If you want to pass a tractor-trailer, be sure to give the driver plenty of space and signal that you are changing lanes. Tractor-trailer drivers aren’t able to stop as quickly as other drivers, so be mindful before merging in front of them.

    Drive Defensively

    Drive defensively, anticipating that others will make mistakes. Other drivers might not slow down to let you merge onto the interstate or change lanes if you put your signal light on. Regarding defensive driving tips for teens, KidsHealth.org shares that teens should “not depend on others” and “[c]ut out distractions.” Teen Driver Source shares that while teens know not to text and drive, “they often engage in these behaviours anyway.” Instead of expecting other drivers to perform certain actions while driving, be on the lookout and cut down on distractions to develop safer driving habits.

    Take breaks

    On longer trips, you’re bound to get tired. Whenever you’re feeling drained, it’s better to stop and take a break. Usually, we try to brush off our tiredness by turning on the music or rolling down the windows and continuing right along, but this can be a reckless choice. Pullover to a safe location or have a plan to switch drivers. By stopping to allow yourself to rest physically and or mentally, you’re helping to prevent accidents.

    Drive according to weather conditions

    Stay aware of weather conditions while on the interstate. During inclement weather such as rainy or snowy conditions, you need to be more alert and provide yourself with more time to react. Don’t always assume the roads are safe for driving the speed limit, especially in low-visibility conditions. That’s why it’s a good practice to reduce your speed and give yourself some buffer room.

    Do not drive under the influence

    Don’t drink and drive or get on the roads incapacitated. Driving under the influence and incapacitated driving can both be costly risks. The NHTSA reports that 29% of fatalities in 2017 occurred due to drunk driving. When you are not fully aware and functioning, you’re not as likely to make good judgements while on the road. You should have a designated driver or use a rideshare app like Uber or Lyft instead.

    Make safety your priority while driving on the interstate

    Safety should be a top priority while driving on the interstate. It’s easy to get caught up listening to music or talking on the phone, but it’s not so easy to correct the outcomes of an accident. That’s why it’s best to develop safe driving habits and drive proactively while you’re on the highway.

    Safe Driving Tips

    • Obey all speed limits and signs.
    • Be attentive and drive responsibly.
    • Never drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
    • Always wear your seatbelts.
    • Before driving a car, do a simple safety check. Turn on the lights and walk around the vehicle to ensure that all lights are in working order. Also check your blinkers for proper operation. Look for any fluid leaks or things hanging from the vehicle. Check that the tires are properly inflated.
    • When you get into the car, adjust all mirrors and seats before placing the key in the ignition. To properly adjust the left mirror place your head against the left window and adjust the mirror so that you can just see the left side of the car. For the right, move your head towards the center of the vehicle and adjust the right mirror in the same way. When you are sitting correctly in the driver’s seat, you will not be able to see your vehicle, but your blind spots will be greatly reduced.
    • Always drive with your headlights on, a car is visible for nearly four times the distance with it’s headlights on.
    • Always use your turn signals.
    • Pay attention to all signs
    • When stopping at a stop sign, spell S-T-O-P to yourself before proceeding. Always turn your head to look left, then right, straight ahead, then left again before proceeding.
    • When a light turns green, look left, then right, straight ahead, then left again before proceeding through the light. Notice all vehicles and ensure that someone else is not going to run the light.
    • Keep your eyes moving. Notice what is happening on the sides of the road and check behind you through your mirrors every 6-8 seconds.
    • When driving on a two-lane road that allows parking on the right, stay toward the center line to allow for room if someone were to open their door to exit their vehicle in front of your car. This forethought will help you from swerving to miss an opening door. If there is no parking allowed on the road position your car toward the right to allow for more room between you and oncoming traffic.
    • Expect the other drivers to make mistakes and think what you would do if a mistake does happen. For example, do not assume that a vehicle coming to a stop sign is going to stop. Be ready to react if it does not stop. Never cause an accident on purpose, even if a pedestrian or another vehicle fails to give you the right-of-way.
    • Every time that you re-fuel, check your oil and other fluid levels. Look for noticeable leaks throughout the engine compartment.
    • If your car stalls on the road, do not leave your car. Put on your hazard lights to allow others to see you better. Wait for the proper authorities to come to your aid. Do not let someone talk you into leaving your vehicle.
    • When traveling behind other vehicles, there should be at least a four second space between your vehicles. When the car in front of you passes a stationary object, slowly count to yourself. If you pass the object before the allotted time, you should back off. When traveling at night or inclement weather, these times should be doubled.
    • Don’t talk on a cell phone while driving. Phones detract from your ability to concentrate on the road and increase your chance of a collision by nearly 400%. If you must use the phone, pull over to a safe, well-lit parking lot and place your call there. After completing your call you may continue on your way.
    • When leaving for an out of town trip, be sure to give an itinerary to someone back at home with the route of travel, approximate time of arrival and a contact number at your destination. Do not deviate from this plan without informing your at-home contact. If you are traveling a long distance, check in throughout the trip with a current location and any changes in your route or times. If something were to happen, this information may be used to narrow the search.
    • When being approached by an emergency vehicle, pull to the right shoulder of the road and stop.
    • Carry in your vehicle, in an easy to find place, all contact numbers that you may need as well as emergency contact information, personal information and any outstanding medical needs that you may have.
    • Leave early, plan to arrive 10 minutes before the appointed time. Speeding does not increase your ability to arrive on time, rather it only increases your chances of not arriving at all.
    • When traveling on a multiple-lane road or highway, keep in mind that the left-most lanes are for passing only. If not actively passing a vehicle, stay in the right lanes, allowing others to pass.
    • Avoid the “No-Zone” with trucks or buses — they cannot see you from many areas. Remember if you cannot see the driver in the truck’s rear view mirrors, they cannot see you! Also remember that trucks make large right turns.
    • There is an old saying — “If the roads are wet, then drive like it’s snowing. If the roads are snow-covered, then drive like they’re icy. If the roads are icy, then don’t drive.” Click here for winter driving tips.
    • During inclement weather, if it is necessary to reduce one’s speed, the brake should be applied slowly without making sudden moves. When making sudden moves it’s much easier to lose control of your vehicle.
    • Remember as your speed increases so does your braking distance. If you double your speed, you quadruple your braking distance. If you double the weight of your vehicle, you double the stopping distance.

    Ten Internet Safety Rules & What Not to Do Online

    1. Keep Personal Information Professional and Limited

    Potential employers or customers don’t need to know your personal relationship status or your home address. They do need to know about your expertise and professional background, and how to get in touch with you. You wouldn’t hand purely personal information out to strangers individually—don’t hand it out to millions of people online.

    2. Keep Your Privacy Settings On

    Marketers love to know all about you, and so do hackers. Both can learn a lot from your browsing and social media usage. But you can take charge of your information. Both web browsers and mobile operating systems have settings available to protect your privacy online. Major websites like Facebook also have privacy-enhancing settings available. These settings are sometimes (deliberately) hard to find because companies want your personal information for its marketing value. Make sure you have enabled these privacy safeguards, and keep them enabled.

    3. Practice Safe Browsing

    You wouldn’t choose to walk through a dangerous neighborhood—don’t visit dangerous neighborhoods online. Cybercriminals use lurid content as bait. They know people are sometimes tempted by dubious content and may let their guard down when searching for it. The Internet’s demimonde is filled with hard-to-see pitfalls, where one careless click could expose personal data or infect your device with malware. By resisting the urge, you don’t even give the hackers a chance.

    4. Make Sure Your Internet Connection is Secure. Use a Secure VPN Connection

    When you go online in a public place, for example by using a public Wi-Fi connection,  you have no direct control over its security. Corporate cybersecurity experts worry about “endpoints”—the places where a private network connects to the outside world. Your vulnerable endpoint is your local Internet connection. Make sure your device is secure, and when in doubt, wait for a better time (i.e., until you’re able to connect to a secure Wi-Fi network) before providing information such as your bank account number.

    To further improve your Internet browsing safety, use a secure VPN connection (a virtual private network). VPN enables you to have a secure connection between your device and an Internet server that no one can monitor or access the data that you’re exchanging.

    5. Be Careful What You Download

    A top goal of cybercriminals is to trick you into downloading malware—programs or apps that carry malware or try to steal information. This malware can be disguised as an app: anything from a popular game to something that checks traffic or the weather. Don’t download apps that look suspicious or come from a site you don’t trust.

    6. Choose Strong Passwords

    Passwords are one of the biggest weak spots in the whole Internet security structure, but there’s currently no way around them. And the problem with passwords is that people tend to choose easy ones to remember (such as “password” and “123456”), which are also easy for cyber thieves to guess. Select strong passwords that are harder for cybercriminals to demystify. Password manager software can help you to manage multiple passwords so that you don’t forget them. A strong password is one that is unique and complex—at least 15 characters long, mixing letters, numbers and special characters.

    7. Make Online Purchases From Secure Sites

    Any time you make a purchase online, you need to provide credit card or bank account information—just what cybercriminals are most eager to get their hands on. Only supply this information to sites that provide secure, encrypted connections. You can identify secure sites by looking for an address that starts with https: (the S stands for secure) rather than simply http: They may also be marked by a padlock icon next to the address bar.

    8. Be Careful What You Post

    The Internet does not have a delete key, as that young candidate in New Hampshire found out. Any comment or image you post online may stay online forever because removing the original (say, from Twitter) does not remove any copies that other people made. There is no way for you to “take back” a remark you wish you hadn’t made, or get rid of that embarrassing selfie you took at a party. Don’t put anything online that you wouldn’t want your mom or a prospective employer to see.

    9. Be Careful Who You Meet Online

    People you meet online are not always who they claim to be. Indeed, they may not even be real. As InfoWorld reports, fake social media profiles are a popular way for hackers to cozy up to unwary Web users and pick their cyber pockets. Be as cautious and sensible in your online social life as you are in your in-person social life.

    10. Keep Your Antivirus Program Up To Date

    Internet security software cannot protect against every threat, but it will detect and remove most malware—though you should make sure it’s to date. Be sure to stay current with your operating system’s updates and updates to applications you use. They provide a vital layer of security.

    Keep these 10 basic Internet safety rules in mind and you’ll avoid many of the nasty surprises that lurk online for the careless.

    Portland teen remanded in custody

    A teenager was remanded in custody when he appeared in the Portland Parish Court on Wednesday, December 18 to answer to charges stemming from breaches of the Larceny Act.

    The teen was charged in relation to a Monday, December 16 incident in Port Antonio, Portland. It is alleged that about 6:00 p.m., the teen broke a glass window at the back of a shop, entered and stole a cellular phone. The Police were alerted and the teen was accosted and searched. The stolen item was found in a bag that he had in his possession.         

    He is to reappear before the Port Antonio Children’s  Court on Monday, January 13, 2020.

    Investigation continues.

    Preventing Robberies

    PREVENTING ROBBERIES

    • Ensure that valuable personal possessions (e.g. cash and high-end electronic devices) are properly secured or concealed. If you intend to conduct business involving large amounts of cash with someone, feel free to do so at a Police Station or some other safe location.
    • Avoid wearing excessive jewellery, particularly gold, especially when walking in areas with high pedestrian traffic.
    • Always ensure that your house and car keys are easily accessible to minimize the time it takes to enter homes and vehicles.
    • Walk-in well-lit areas and avoid walking alone. If you think you are being followed, trust your instincts and proceed to a crowded area, maintain your vigilance, and seek assistance.
    • Do not leave valuable items on motor vehicle seats or areas within the vehicle that make them visible to passers-by.
    • Avoid taking large sums of money to/from the bank or directing employees to do so. Employ a reputable security service to handle deposits to financial institutions or seek the assistance of the Police. Persons using Automated Teller Machines are also urged to be vigilant and protect their debit/credit card information.
    • Travellers are urged to be alert at the airport and be mindful of people who are not legitimately authorized to load and unload vehicles or provide transportation. If you believe you are being followed, proceed to a busy location and contact the Police immediately.

    SAFETY AT HOME

    • If you can, invest in safety features for your home. This may simply take the form of sturdy locks and doors or more advanced home security systems.
    • Be careful who has access to your home. Crafty robbers sometimes pose as household employees, such as gardeners and domestic helpers, then use the opportunity to steal items from your home.
    • Since children might be home for the holidays, teach them not to speak to strangers and shout for help if they feel unsafe. Also, teach them to never give out personal information and how to contact the Police. Always leave children at home you can instead leave them in the care of trusted relatives or a responsible caregiver.

    TRANSPORTATION

    • When taking public transportation, especially taxis, always remember to note the license plate number, colour and make of the vehicle. Always let someone you trust know when you board a taxi and share this information with them. Be wary of drivers who ask you to divert from planned routes.
    • Taxi drivers are also being warned to be alert and look out for criminals who pose as genuine passengers, avoid carrying groups of men and be wary of passengers who ask you to divert.
    • Do not drink and drive. Have a designated driver when you attend events in case you consume excessive alcohol. Also, ensure your vehicles are properly secured at these events.
    • Obey all the road codes when travelling and comply with the instructions of the Police.

    We urge the public to not be hesitant in reporting crimes to the Police 119 emergency number, Crime Stop at 311 or the nearest Police Station.

    Twenty-Five Officers Receive Awards in Kingston Western Division

    Twenty-five Police officers from the Kingston Western Division were presented with special awards by the Commissioner of Police Major General Antony Anderson on Friday, December 6. The officers were recognized and commended for their contribution and commitment in making their communities safer during the Kingston Western Division’s annual conference and award ceremony at the Heart Trust Garmex facility in Kingston.

    The Police officers from the Dehnam Town , Trench Town, Admiral Town,  Tivoli Garden and Darling Street Police Stations were in attendance as Commissioner of Police Major General Antony Anderson spoke in length on Policing despite challenges.

    The Commissioner took the opportunity to remind officers that Policing is not a job. “If you don’t have a passion for it, you won’t last. The fact that you all have lasted in the midst of the challenges is commenable!” he stated.

    Officers were reassured of new technological advances to come on stream within the JCF to aid them carrying out their duties more effectively. These technologies include, an updated microwave system that will carry five times the amout of data islandwide and the introduction of digital station records to replace over 30 paper-based registers. Additionally, license plate recognition cameras on Police vehicles and traffic lights will be in place to assist in policing the nation’s roadways.

    Major General Anderson shared that the changes are set to commence in the year 2020 and will ultimately increase the JCF’s continued  effort to be a Force for good.