HEIGHTENED security awareness is important during the festive season.
Public areas such as marketplaces, bus stops and crowded streets in Port Moresby are not safe for women and girls, including men and boys who cannot protect themselves.
Petty crime is common in Port Moresby and other major centres.
Thugs are becoming arrogant.
They can stab those who refuse to give them what they are after.
Every time you go out, pause for a few seconds and assess your surroundings.
Know they type of people around you.
Plan and know how to get to safety if something happens.
Know that criminals are human beings with families and friends as well.
Just as any formally employed person, thugs have years of experience in what they do.
They know who to target.
They know what to look out for.
Most of them would do anything to ensure they get what they want and avoid spending Christmas in the hospital or police cell.
Be alert, walk with your head up and do not let your mind wander.
Frequently scan the surroundings.
Always trust your instincts and know when to leave an area.
If a person or place makes you uneasy, leave immediately.
Avoid situations that will make you more vulnerable.
Keep an eye on your belongings while packing up your car before going away, if you’re travelling on an open-back vehicle.
Thieves have been known to steal valuable items from driveways, traffic lights and crossings or at check points.