We talked to the assistant chief constable of the police station in Santa Barbara, Israel León Campos who told us general things about the "Fuerza Pública". Furthermore he gave us suggestions about how to prevent crimes.
Santa Bárbara is second in the rating of safest towns in the province after San Isidro de Heredia which is the safest one. The police station employs 42 police officers and two secretaries. Furthermore there are four more police stations in the districts of San Pedro, San Bosco, El Roble and los Cartagos. In the district of San Pedro which is between Birrí and Barrio Jesús are areas which are the most dangerous ones in the area. A reason for that is the proximity to Alajuela and the airport. Birrí and Barrio Jesús are more dangerous as well because the streets there are really calm so that it is easy to escape as a criminal since there are no people.
Compared to the last years, the police has noted less crimes this year. The police reacts really fast in case of a crime. Due to teamwork and operational tours, the crime in Santa Barbara has dropped dramatically. "We have achieved 90 % of security in town, in all the districs, in the central sector because of the operations that we have realized during the year. Last year we only had 40 or 50 % of security.
"The best medicine is prevention".
It is better, for example, to hide cellphones, mp3 players or cameras from the sight of possible thieves. Furthermore it is better to travel in groups of five or more persons since more witnesses intimidate criminals. It is also recomandable to have the number of the police (911) with you. In case of an attack it is important not to resist because "life and health are really valuable". It is also important to observe the criminal and his vehicle to describe it for the police. This includes hairstyle, pants, if he has glasses or a cap as well as the style of his shoes.
"These days, holidays and Christmas week are the three times of the year when people consume the highest amount of alcohol." In this time of the year happen lots of robberies. The reason for that are the parties and that people drink a lot. There is the issue of drunk driving as well. This is not only dangerous for the driver but also for others.
Additionally, people spend their vacations in different places so that they leave their houses unattended which offers a good opportunity for thieves.
Fireworks represent another danger in this time of the year, especially for children. Generally, it is no problem if adults are using fireworks, but noone should involve children. If people decide to use fireworks, it is recomendable that they do it in a safe surrounding. They should also not accumulate a lot of it and rather buy it a short time before using it. It is recomandable to buy fireworks that do not explode strongly.
"Our best gift is your security!"
Especially during Christmas season, there are more policemen on the streets and there is more protection for banks and stores. Furthermore the police offers brochures with suggestions for citizens.
Following suggestions are very important:
"Do not take a lot of money with you, better use credit cards to pay."
"Do neither talk to strangers nor accept trades or easy deals."
"Do not brag about big sums of money, jewellery or any valuable object."
"If you need to get money from an ATM, do not accept colaborations from strangers."
"Keep your stuff in sight distance."
"If you are a victim of crime, do not resist the criminal, rather alarm a police officer or call 9-1-1."
Following link connects you with the police station of the town and its delegations in the district.
Police Station of Santa Bárbara de Heredie Delta 52
Subintendent: Milton García Flores
Rosa Guadamuz Morales
Marlene Miranda Viquez
Police officers: 14
Population: 6995 inhabitants plus 8485 in Jesus
Police stations in the district:
INSPECTOR: Eduard Martines Espinosa
INSPECTOR: Eduard Martines Espinosa
Police officers: 12
Population: 3051 habitantes
INSPECTOR: Marvin Rivera Guzmán
Police officers: 10
Population: 3898 habitantes
INSPECTOR:Cristian Loaiza Morales
Police officers: 13
Population: 4149 habitantes mas 6936 de San Juan
By Lena Kessel and Sophie Thielecke, volunteers of Amistad Institute
Translated by Lena Kessel