Stay safe with these holiday tips

2017-04-12 06:00

With many South Africans expected to be on the roads over the Easter weekend, the South African Police Service (SAPS) in the Northern Cape urges community members to be vigilant and to take charge of their own safety and their possessions.

As many will be travelling to various church conferences or visiting their families, this is usually the time when criminals see the opportunity to increase their activities.

Therefore, the SAPS issued some tips that can also assist in decreasing the chances of homeowners becoming victims:

Homeowners

  • Residents going away for the long weekend are urged to report their vacant house to the local police station so that the police can regularly patrol the area.
  • Know your neighbours and build a relationship of mutual trust and support. When going away, inform them, or make arrangements for your house to be watched.
  • Never leave workers unattended in your home and also conduct thorough background checks before employing anyone.
  • When installing alarm systems, ensure they are in good working condition and are linked to a response unit.
  • Mail left at the gate is a clear sign that nobody is home. Get a friend or neighbour to keep a regular eye on your property and to remove mail and newspapers.
  • Bushes and long grass provide criminals with a good hiding place. As a result, homeowners should trim grass and large bushes and remove big trees from the property’s boundaries and driveway.

Firearms

  • Owners of firearms must ensure that their firearms are stored away safely at all times. Persons whose firearms are lost or stolen because of their negligence will be criminally charged and can be declared unfit to possess a firearm.
  • Store your firearm in a safe and do not let anyone, including household employees or children, know that you have firearms in the house. A safe out of sight in a cupboard is a good choice.

Shopping

  • Avoid carrying large amounts of money.
  • Never leave valuable possessions in the trolley.
  • When shopping with children, make sure that you hold their hand at all times to ensure that they do not go missing in the busy shopping malls.
  • Never allow children to go to public toilets alone.
  • Avoid isolated ATMs and do not use these late at night.
  • Never give your card or pin number to anyone for any reason – not even a bank official, security personnel or a police officer.
  • Never accept help from strangers when using the ATM. If you are distracted by someone while you are attempting to make a transaction, cancel your transaction immediately.
  • Be wary of your surroundings, especially when standing at traffic lights.
  • Avoid answering or using your cellphone in public. If you have to, walk into a shop.
  • Never accept drinks from strangers. It may be laced with drugs, causing you to pass out and be an easy target for a robbery.

Road users

  • When locking their cars, motorists should physically check if the car is properly locked because of jamming devices used.
  • Travellers are urged to avoid hitch-hiking as they might be robbed, raped or even killed.
  • Motorists travelling long distances should rest to avoid fatigue.
  • Motorists should check the road worthiness of their vehicles before they commence their journey.

In the fight against crime, the police request anyone to report criminal activities in their area on the Crime Stop line at 08600-10111 or send an SMS to 32211.

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