Your safety: Hijackers ‘target’ parents outside schools

2008-04-25 00:00

Johannesburg — More and more parents waiting outside schools for their children are being hijacked. This is according to Robyn Farrell, director of 1st for Women Insurance Brokers.

Farrell said there were several parent hijackings at schools in Gauteng in the past few months.

Hijackings had been reported even in small towns such as Port Edward on the south coast.

Farrell said: “It’s unthinkable that criminals would even think of hijacking someone outside a school in broad daylight. Statistics show that hijackers target women, but everyone must be careful. You’re an easy target when you’re sitting in your car with the windows down, listening to the radio while you wait.

“Women also have a tendency to sit in their cars and make phone calls or scratch in their handbags after work or after a shopping trip. Then they’re easy targets because they’re not so alert. To sit in a parked car unaware of what’s going on around you is dangerous.

“To be wary and attentive is one’s best protection against hijackings,” said Farrell.

Tips for when you are waiting outside a school:

• park so that you can drive off easily if necessary;

• be aware of people who walk around your car;

• don’t allow anything to distract you;

• always keep your car’s windows closed and doors locked;

• if you think you are in trouble, draw the attention of the motorists around you;

• report suspicious vehicles or people to the police;

• if you think you are being followed, do not stop. Drive to the nearest police station; and

• if you are hijacked, stay calm and do as the hijackers tell you.

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