Vehicle hijacking in SA

2017-05-10 06:00

WHILE all South Africans have been forced to become accustomed to the high levels of crime we endure every day, there are certain aspects of crime that we can be schooled in to enable us to avoid, or in a worst case scenario, survive.

Police have warned about an increase in hijackings in Raisethorpe and lower Northdale.

Raisethorpe CBD, Allandale and the lower Northdale area have become hotspots for hijackings in recent months. Another hotspot is near Forest Hill Primary on Chota Motala Road.

Three distinct areas exist when trying to fight crime. One is the reliance on law enforcement agencies, such as the SAPS and local Metro police departments, the second is the reliance on private security companies and suppliers of security equipment and the third is ourselves.

While the first two are able to assist to an extent, the SAPS are inundated in trying to deal with crime levels and private security companies are not always accessible to all members of society.

This then means that the onus rests on people themselves, whether in their private capacity or for employers, to become educated on how to avoid certain crime situations and at worst if unavoidable, how to survive the consequences.

Stats released by the SAPS for the period April 2016 – December 2016, whilst reflecting a decline in certain crime segments, show a marked escalation in the contact crime category, where robbery with aggravating circumstances (including carjacking) has increased by 6.1%.

With this, the so-called ‘trio crimes’ (carjacking, robbery at home and robbery at non-residential premises) all saw large increases – with carjacking (vehicle hijacking) seeing the biggest increase across all crime categories. As per an article based on research and published by Pro-Active SA, it has been established that 85% of violent crimes are committed using vehicles. Being able to apprehend or having the information made available to security service providers can reduce violent crimes being committed within your operating area. Pro-Active SA are leaders in assisting with effective notification or distribution for the recovery of your vehicle(s).

Having absorbed all the above information and using the old adage ‘knowledge is strength’, is therefore stands to reason that with professional training one should be able to avoid being hijacked and further, if you are unable, you have skills on how to hopefully survive the attack/hostage situation.

With this in mind Malcolm Sacks founder of Hass – Hijack Avoidance & Survival Skills SA – developed skills training courses in 2002 to aid his then base of clients, companies with large fleets so as to train their drivers on how not to become part of the SA crime statistic.

Back then, being directly involved in the industry of supplying and installing vehicle tracking systems, he identified all aspects of why or how South Africans were being hijacked and how they could be schooled in avoiding such situations.

As he rightly says, “the majority of the avoidance training covers points that should be common sense to us all, but the majority of South Africans are complacent and apathetic, having an attitude of it’ll never happen to me.”

It is only once the raw, cold facts and scary statistics are presented that people on the course sit up and take note of just how vulnerable we all are.

Having looked at possible scenarios of how drivers land up in dangerous situations, Sacks worked these into developing the avoidance techniques explained on the Hass courses.

These coupled with further vital skills shown and explained on how to hopefully survive should you be unable to avoid a hijacking and how to beef-up lax security precautions in and around one’s home which often add to the risk of being hijacked.

Combine all these and Hass offers a thought provoking course which could ultimately save your life or those near and dear to you.

Sacks concludes that prevention is better than cure. All South Africans, whether directly or indirectly are at risk and therefore affected - regardless of race, colour or creed.

Sacks can be contacted on 083 282 6306 or malcolm2911 @gmail.com

- Supplied.

Stats released: subcategories of aggravated robbery (trio crimes)

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