Safety at shopping centres

2017-05-24 06:02

BY being aware of your surroundings and by actively managing risks you can make great strides in being safe while at a shopping centre or mall.

That’s the view of a private security company, who has issued advice, which it says, will hopefully make people just that bit safer when they are out and about at the shops.

The first rule, according to Fidelity ADT’s district manager (KwaZulu-Natal) Ivan Govender, is being aware and being vigilant.

“Criminals depend on their targets

being distracted. It is when people aren’t paying attention when they become easy targets for would-be thieves. The best option is therefore to be on the lookout for anyone following you or someone loitering at your car in the parking area. Trust your instincts,” said Govender.

Another risk for visitors to any shopping centre is remote jamming.

“Always park your car in a well-lit, properly secured parking area, ideally with security personnel on duty. When you leave your car, make sure the doors are locked. Never just assume that your remote had in fact locked your doors. The extra few seconds it takes to make sure the car is properly locked and secured are worth it,” said Govender.

Shoppers should be careful on the way home too.

He recommends being on the lookout for anyone that could possibly be following you from the shopping centre and to drive to the closest police station or security provider guard house if there is any doubt.

“Remember the general hijacking safety tips such as waiting in the road for your house gate to open before driving in, and making sure the gate is closed properly behind your vehicle before getting out,” said Govender.

He also recommends

• Carry as little as possible in handbags or pockets and rather leave unnecessary bank or store cards and large amounts of cash at home.

• Never leave a handbag, purse or wallet in a trolley. If you don’t use a bag or do not take one along, keep your wallet or purse in the front pocket of your jacket or trousers.”

• If you do need to draw money at an ATM, use a machine in a busy area.

• Be aware of anyone standing nearby and don’t accept help from strangers when entering your PIN number.

• Put your money in your purse or wallet before you walk away from the ATM, and

• If you think someone has followed you from the machine, walk into the nearest shop or up to a mall security guard.

- Supplied

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