Since 1 August, there have been four forceful crimes of which two were common robberies and 2 vehicle hijackings.
Captain Gerhard Elmes, Communication Official Secunda SAPS, said that the increase is inexplicable. He also said that people should be vigilant at all times when driving, specifically when arriving or departing from their homes.
Something else Captain Elmes said was that people should be more careful when walking, jogging, cycling etc. in the green strip especially. This is because there are some areas in the green strip that is remote and calls for help might not be heard.
“Be careful what you carry with you when you are in the green strip or anywhere in town. Everything has a value and during times like this people might go to extreme measures to feed their families,” he said.
Since the start of Level 3 lockdown, crime has been escalating. This could be because many job opportunities have been lost and companies have descaled on manpower countrywide.
Captain Elmes suggested that the community follow these safety tips to ensure their own safety and their friends’ and families’ safety. These tips can also be found, with many other safety tips, on the SAPS website.
READ ALSO: Be Alert!
Be crime conscious – be aware of crime opportunities at all times!
- Never walk around alone and don’t talk to strangers. Be on the lookout for strange cars or people.
- Walk in well-lit busy streets and in a group, if possible.
- Make sure your home is secure and become a member of an armed response service. Be sure that you know all the emergency numbers or have them displayed in an accessible area.
- Always let someone know where you are going and how long you will be gone. But think twice before advertising your impending absence on social media. Criminals also have access to Facebook and Twitter.
- Know all emergency numbers.
- Trust your instinct.
- Avoid going onto a congested street where you cannot even walk properly, that is where you will find criminals pick pocketing.
- Avoid displaying valuables where criminals can see them.
Crime Prevention: Safety Tips Safety Awareness in a Vehicle
- Ensure that your vehicle is in a good condition when you plan to go on a journey.
- Ensure that the fuel tank of your vehicle always has sufficient fuel.
- Always lock your vehicles doors and keep the windows closed.
- Do not leave your vehicle unlocked, even if you think you will be away for only a minute.
- Avoid stopping at remote places.
- Park your vehicle in places that are well lit.
- If a stranger wants to talk to you while in your vehicle, do not open the window wide -only 5 cm is enough to have a discussion.
- If something seems suspicious, do not talk to strangers, rather be rude and drive away.
- Limit your trips at night or at least take someone along with you.
- Vary the route you travel to work and back if this is possible.
- If approached by a stranger while in your car, drive off if possible or press your hooter to attract attention.
- If strangers loiter near or at your driveway, rather drive past. If they loiter for a long time, report it to your nearest police station.
- Car jackers may stage a minor accident so they can approach your car.
- If your car is bumped from behind and you do not feel comfortable with the individual(s) involved in the situation, drive to the nearest police station for help.
- Do not reach for your purse or valuables. Leave everything behind if forced from the car.
- Your life is more valuable than your possessions.
- Do not resist, especially if the thief has a weapon.
- Give up your vehicle with no questions asked and move away.
- A lift club limits the risk of becoming a victim of crime.
- Do not give strangers a lift.
- A gear lock is an affordable and a very effective anti-theft device.
- If possible, put up a mirror against the front wall of your garage to see if someone is following you into the garage.
- Do not open your garage doors before your gates are closed.
Safety Awareness when Parking/Driving your Vehicle
- Avoid parking your motor vehicle where there are no security officers guarding other cars.
- Do not leave your firearm in the motor vehicles glove compartment (cubbyhole) or anywhere in the vehicle when you park the vehicle (this is against the law!).
- Make sure that all the doors and windows are properly locked when you park your car.
- Valuable items like a laptop and camera should be put in the boot of your car.
- Be aware of people coming to you and informing you that you have a flat tyre, the intention can be to steal items that they see inside the car or rob your car.
- Always close your windows when driving in the city centre.
- Do not open your windows for hawkers along the road and at the robots.
- Keep the doors locked and windows closed at all times.
- Do not use a cellular phone unless you have a hands-free kit.
- Lock your valuables in the cars boot before departure.
- At night, park in well-lit areas.
- If in doubt about the safety of an area, phone a police station for advice.
- Practice the same prevention skills you apply in parking lots or garages at home.
- Become familiar with your route before you start the trip.
- Get a map of the route and study it.
- Store luggage in the cars boot where it is out of sight.
- Do not leave your goods/valuable items visible in the car.
- Do not leave your handbag/briefcase visible in the car.
- Do not leave your keys in the ignition.
- Always lock the doors and close the windows when getting out of the car.
- Remove detachable radios and the radio’s face when getting out of the car.
- Try to fit an alarm and/or anti-theft device in your car.
- Have your keys ready in your hand as you approach your car, especially if they are difficult to find in your handbag.
- Parking lots with a parking attendant or supervision/ someone patrolling are best, otherwise try to park in locations that are well lit and/or well populated and not crowded by bushes or buildings where offenders might hide.
The following safety hints are aimed at providing a potential hostage or hijacking victim with practical advice. In many instances, injuries and deaths are the result of inconsiderate actions taken by the victims themselves. There are certain guidelines that could increase a victim’s chances of survival and decrease the risk of humiliation, discomfort and injury.
Know what to Expect as a Victim
- People who are taken hostage or hijacked, tend to experience feelings of anxiety, shock, disbelief and confusion.
- This first reaction usually leads to resistance, or retaliation which could have fatal consequences.
- Prepare to be alone and isolated from your family, friends or loved one and to lose track of time and place.
Know what to Expect of the Perpetrators
- They could be tense, anxious and nervous.
- They could display a tendency to overreact.
- Do everything the perpetrators tell you to do
- Try at all times to maintain your pride, dignity and self-respect
- Keep your brain active by playing games in your mind (mind games), daydreaming and reading whatever you are offered
- To maintain your physical strength, you should eat the food provided by your captor(s)
- Try to maintain a sense of humour, but do not ridicule the aggressors
- Try to remain orientated regarding your movements, directions, time and place
- Try to maintain a routine and remain fit if circumstances permit
- Allow yourself to be led by your captor(s)
- Try to remain cool and calm
- Fall flat and remain down during the relieving attack
- at any time become panic stricken or hysterical
- offer any form of resistance
- become abusive and aggressive or lose your temper
- threaten or provoke the captor(s)
- try to be a hero
- engage in an argument with the captor(s)
- engage in any whispered conversations with the perpetrators
- use foreign concepts of language, as this could arouse the captor’s suspicions
- make any demands
- be sympathetic towards your captor’s cause
- try to escape, as this could place you at risk