The public has been cautioned to be security conscious, while engaging in activities to mark the New Year.
“Criminals typically take advantage of the excitement that characterise festive occasions to indulge in unlawful activities.”
Mr Irbard Ibrahim, a security expert, told the Ghana News Agency in an interview that December 31st night activities to mark the New Year, mainly entailing church services and other forms of social meetings, easily got people excited to the point of losing their usual sense of caution.
He said it was worth knowing that criminals were well aware of this and could easily take advantage of the situation.
Mr Ibrahim urged parents and guardians to accompany their children to church services and all other occasions during New Year’s Eve celebrations, since unaccompanied children made an easy target for kidnappers.
He also urged people to move in groups as much as possible, and to also plan their routes very carefully, so as not to risk falling victim to lurking criminals.
Mr Ibrahim said both pedestrians and motorists should be careful with either accepting or offering lifts, adding that whilst criminals often kidnapped people by pretending to offer lifts, they could also posed as stranded pedestrians to harm unsuspecting motorists.
He urged neighbourhoods to collaborate on crime prevention as much as possible and people should ensure that their homes were well locked up or watched over, as they left for the 31st night activities.
The security expert cautioned people on the need to stay safe with social media updates saying, “be careful how much you put out there because you could give clues to criminals through your updates.”
He advised the public to take advantage of the heavy police presence to quickly report suspicious persons and situations, and help protect life and property.
The Ghana Police Service, recently launched an operation dubbed “Operation Father Christmas”, to increase public police presence during the yuletide, especially within crime prone areas.
The operation is also to make the police more accessible to the public because of the potential for criminals to plan activities during festive occasions.