Arima mayor Balliram Maharaj walked through the borough with hopes of "building confidence in the people."
He spoke on Thursday at Naipaul's Bookstore car park at the top of Queen Street, Arima, saying the public "is well protected and crime – crime is everybody's business."
He urged citizens to collaborate with the police to help solve crime, emphasising, "The more information the police get, will slow crime."
Maharaj said guns and police presence can only do so much. He highlighted the importance of the community's involvement in ensuring its safety. He also noted the support of both the municipal police and the Arima police, urging citizens to report suspicious activities discreetly.
In addition, Maharaj reminded the public that harbouring criminals puts not only them at risk, but also their homes, saying, "If somebody finds something that is not legal in their house, everybody could be charged."
Taking the opportunity to update the public about plans for the borough and the Christmas season, Maharaj announced, "We are going to have the national parang final on December 9, and we are also going to bring back horse racing."
Newsday asked divisional commander of the police Northern Division Snr Supt Kerwin Francis about plans to combat crime.
He said, "We already have a plan in place, but with the advent of the Christmas season, we will be intensifying our efforts in Arima with a view to bringing a sense of safety and security."
He emphasised the commitment and collaboration of the municipal police and other law-enforcement agencies in ensuring a safe shopping experience during the holidays.
Francis also gave safety tips for the public during the Christmas period, encouraging the use of bank cards for transactions, securing items in vehicle trunks, and avoiding "advertising" travel plans on social media.
Along the way, Newsday spoke to businesswoman Josie Archier, who expressed concern about the current state of Arima. She highlighted the challenges of opening a business amidst increased criminal activity. She said she had relocated her business, Josie Archier Fragrance, from Woodford Street to Port of Spain because of safety concerns.
Archier expressed hope that Maharaj's efforts would extend beyond a symbolic walk and result in tangible improvements for the community.
Sangre Grande taxi driver Gregory Pamphile addressed unemployment concerns, also saying, "We need a proper taxi stand. If we could get a relocation from here, that would be better for us."
As the mayor made his final stop at the Arima Market, Newsday spoke to a vendor who expressed dissatisfaction, saying, "It doesn't make sense."
The vendor called for extended market closing hours and additional safety measures, citing a recent break-in and robbery. She questioned the effectiveness of security cameras in the market.