By RICARDO WELLS
Tribune Staff Reporter
POLICE yesterday hosted a symposium designed to better inform business operators of the varying forms of crimes which adversely affect their sector.
The one-day forum was hosted at the Paul Farquharson Conference Centre by officers from Northeastern Division and featured presentations by Royal Bahamas Police Force crime and fraud experts.
Superintendent Oswald Nixon, officer in-charge of the Northeastern Division, said the symposium came about as a result of an analysis of crime trends specific to his division.
The Northeastern Division encompasses three of New Providence's highest-traffic shopping districts - Mall at Marathon, Palmdale and Harbour Bay.
These districts have been, in recent years, targeted by criminals and on several occasions became the locations of major robberies and murders.
Supt Nixon said the division's inquiry section identified trends that specifically targeted businesses, its employees and unsuspecting customers.
"Once we would have looked at those trends, we came up with the concept of having a business symposium to make the business persons in the area aware of those trends to better help them in protecting their businesses and their customers," he said. "We have a number of areas involved here, mainly those areas from the Criminal Detective Unit."
Supt Nixon added: "We have the persons from the armed robbery section here to give tips on armed robberies; persons from the family liaison sections to help those victims of crime; we have persons here from the computer related, tech area to deal with computer related cyber crimes; and we have persons from the area which deals with fraudulent uses of credit cards and debit cards here."
Of those in attendance, Supt Nixon said he hopes business operators walk away with a better understanding on how best to protect themselves, their businesses and their customers.
He also stressed the need for business operators to optimise the use of technology as it relates to CCTV, insisting the use of video cameras within stores and establishments often enhance the coverage of security officers on site.
Supt Nixon continued: "(We want them to be) aware of certain trends of criminals; to monitor their customers who are coming in, to make sure that the person who is coming in - you can't figure out everybody who is a criminal, but at least put you on notice to say that this particular behaviour, this particular person who walks into your store and they are asking for a certain product then they go back out and come back into your store, and you see a vehicle outside, that should prompt you to say, 'let me be on my Ps and Qs as it relates to this particular person.'"
The symposium was carried out in accordance with Commissioner Anthony Ferguson's 2018 policing plan.
While there are no immediate plans to repeat the forum, according to Superintendent Shanta Knowles, police press liaison officer, crime prevention initiatives are being regularly executed throughout the country in accordance with the commissioner's plan.