Be vigilant these holidays - SAPS

2016-12-01 06:00

WITH the holiday season already upon us, local police once again reminds everyone to be vigilant and cautious.

The SAPS also says people must be aware of their surroundings at all times in order to avoid becoming victims of crime, which unfortunately, spikes at this time of the year.

History has shown that during the festive period people tend to be complacent and at times are oblivious about their surroundings resulting in them becoming victims of crime.

Having launched the Safer Festive Season Operation, the SAPS and other law enforcement officers, will be working hard and smart throughout the festive period to ensure that people are, and feel safe.

However, police cannot be everywhere at the same time. Therefore, people are urged to take cognisance of these safety tips that can help prevent them from becoming a statistic.

Money: since money is the primary motivation for most of the crime, the SAPS cautions people about the dangers of carrying large amounts of money on them. Bank cards can and should be used to conduct all transactions to avoid money-related robberies. Stokvel members should rather speak to their bank about available banking options that may assist them in conducting transactions without having to withdraw their deposit, thus risking robberies and, at times, death.

If it becomes necessary that one has to withdraw a large amount of money, it is important to be aware of other people in the bank as others may be in the bank with the sole purpose of following and, ultimately, robbing you.

Be aware of who you share information about your intention to withdraw money with, as these very people may arrange for your robbery later. This also applies to people involved in stokvels. The SAPS suggests that people rather use safer and more conventional ways of saving money.

Children: with schools closed children have lots of time on their hand, which is when additional vigilance by parents and/or guardians is a must. Try to know where your children are and who are they with to avoid cases of missing children and accidents such as drowning in swimming pools, dams or rivers. There have been cases of children dying through suffocation in abandoned fridges and cars so the SAPS reminds parents to be aware of such dangers - do not take anything for granted.

Rules of the road: people are urged to obey to the rules of the road. Following the triple “P” approach - be prepared, patient and polite when on the roads will go a long way in preventing road carnage. Drinking and driving and speeding are some of the major causes of fatal accidents and transgressors will face the full might of the law.

Another underestimated factor that contributes to the carnage on our roads is fatigue. Take turns driving with an licenced driver and if alone, make regular stops.

Other safety tips that can help save lives are that motorists should plan their travel route in advance and make their whereabouts known to family and friends.

Also, avoid travelling at night and in remote areas. Carry an emergency kit to assist should you experience a vehicle breakdown or are involved in an accident.

Don’t forget that criminals prey on people who are careless. With a few simple precautions, you can reduce the risk to yourself and discourage assailants.

Residence: at home make the intrusion of criminals into your premises as difficult as possible by locking doors and gates, burglar-proofing windows and installing an alarm system. Ensure that lights are switched on at night and off during the day. Arrange for your post to be picked up regularly to avoid accumulation because this is a sign that people are not home for a long period.

Despite all of these safety tips the SAPS is committed to ensuring that everyone in the country enjoys a peaceful festive season.

Their recently launched Safer Festive Season Operation is their means to achieve that end.

- Supplied.

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