As a result of my previous robbery post, I am going to talk about the WhatsApp application again. My neighborhood, and many other neighborhoods, are using this smart phone application as a means to quickly and easily notify neighbors with information.
One of the uses is alerts about crimes or potential crimes.
Suspicious people in our neighborhood will have their photos distributed immediately, asking if they are known by someone living in the neighborhood and should they be here.
With a few clicks, messages can be distributed to friends, family, clubs, and neighborhood watch groups, etc.
If your response is that you don’t have a smart phone, my response to you is “get one”. This is becoming technology that may save your life.
Besides a smart phone, you will need to have a data plan with a mobile carrier. They cost no more than $15/month or less. With that, you have access to the internet from your smart phone, even if your electricity is turned off in your house.
In this current situation, the individual could have sent a message simply saying, “I hear noises in my house and am going to check”. Then the person could shout in the house, “ I have notified neighbors and police , if someone is in the house, now is your time to leave”. Of course the verbal notification should be spoken in Spanish.
Now, if something does happen, there is a recorded timeline of the occurrence. If there is nothing going on, a followup “All Clear” message can be sent out.
I recommend that all bedrooms be safe rooms, meaning that they can be locked. If you think something is possibly going on in another part of your domicile, you should not leave your safe room until you KNOW it is safe.
WhatsApp is not a complete solution, but it is one that should be in your arsenal. You should have several of the following items as well (dogs, bars on the windows, alarms, cameras, membership of neighborhood watch groups, a buddy that checks on you at some given frequency).
You can’t eliminate crime in the Panama, but you can prepare for its occurrence.