Safety first this festive season

2016-11-16 06:01
PHOTO: supplied Siyabonga Sibiya.

PHOTO: supplied Siyabonga Sibiya.

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WITH the expected festive season crime spike, a local security company - Community Watch Policing (CWP) - has cautioned people not to neglect their safety as they approach this time of the year.

Speaking to the Maritzburg Echo, CWP Founder Siyabonga Sibiya said people must realise that safety at home and elsewhere is their personal responsibility.

“A lot of people have the view that installing security measures like an alarm system or CCTV camera is only done in suburban areas and not townships. People need to understand that it is a basic need to have security especially during the festive season where criminal activities increase because of the high consumption of drugs and alcohol.”

Sibiya said one of the measures that can be implemented collectively by communities in ensuring safety and security during the festive season is creating a WhatsApp group to send out alerts of any suspected criminal activities.

“Most people have cellphones and WhatsApp can be used as a tool of communication to be aware of what is happening in your neighbourhood. Create a group and invite your neighbours, communication prevents crime before it happens.”

He said with the festive season rush people tend to neglect their home and personal security.

“As a personal security measure, when visiting a place try and understand your surroundings. Self-protect against any form of crime especially when you are out. As a basic rule, someone must know where you are going and with whom. When you get to your destination report and make your location known. This will help to trace your whereabouts should something happen.”

He also cautioned people to use social media wisely and stop checking in everywhere.

“Criminals are also technology savvy these days, they can log onto Facebook or whatever social media and track your whereabouts. There is also a trend of people posting pictures of money on Facebook that is a risk and it must stop.”

With most stokvel groups also set to distribute their savings in December for festive spending, Sibiya said they receive numerous reports of stolen money around this time of the year.

“Stokvels must avoid handling hard cash, if they really must at least they must make use of the services of a private security company or request members of the police for assistance to avoid being soft targets for criminals.”

Sibiya said businesses will also need to beef up their security with the festive season approaching.

“We encourage businesses to also beef up their security to avoid being victims of crime. They must report small crimes like shoplifting at their nearest police station to be filed because they can lead to bigger crimes. Also, business owners should monitor traffic at their business premises by hiring non-uniformed security personnel.”

For more security tips visit CWP Security­ on Facebook or www.cwpo licing.co.za

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