The public fights back

2011-09-09 00:00

Car Theft:

CAR theft has been rife recently in the northern suburbs and Alexanrda Road and Town Hill policing areas, but police are reluctant to identify particular “hot spots”.

Police spokesperson Lieutenant Joey Jeevan said, “We don’t want [criminals] to shift, so we can focus our policing.”

Despite the increased policing patrols, people should “use every precaution possible” to protect their vehicles, she said.

Jeevan said Toyota Hiluxes and Fortuners are the vehicles most commonly vehicles.

The Witness tracked posts by users of the Hilton-Pietermaritzburg- Howick Crime Spotter group on Facebook, who reported 24 vehicle thefts or break-ins in the past four weeks.

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Weapons and Self-defence:

WHILE arming oneself with a non-lethal self-defence weapon such as a stun-gun, pepper spray or a paint-ball gun seems like a fairly safe idea, it is not that straightforward.

Security consultant Wayne Janneker warned people against using a device with which they are not comfortable because it could be used against them.

Stun-guns, often disguised as cell phones, deliver up to 2,7 million volts, said Brian Peek, the owner of Point Blank.

Sky News reports that shocking someone with a stun-gun could have fatal consequences, such as triggering a cardiac arrest. They are illegal in the United Kingdom.

In South Africa they can be bought from a number of shops or online. They cost between R100 and R800.

Depending on the voltage, the person being shocked will suffer from temporary partial paralysis and disorientation.

Pepper spray is a useful protective item too, said Eddy van den Berg, a King Firearms employee.

“It’s affordable and offers a degree of protection.” A device costs between R55 and R165.

Janneker said knowing your device is essential because even pepper spray, which is sold mainly in “jet-stream or fog” form, can have adverse effects given the wrong setting. For instance, if you are a runner, wind could be a factor, jet-stream is best, Janneker said.

Neither Van den Berg nor Peek reported any notable recent increases in the sale of self-defence items.

However, Peek said, he “sells lots of paint-ball guns” for people who have no “intention to kill” an attacker, but rather chase them away.

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