Police urge caution after robberies

2015-05-19 06:00

Following an increase in robberies in the Wynberg Police Cluster the police are making an urgent appeal to the community to be extra vigilant when it comes to personal safety.

Captain Angie Latchman, spokesperson of the Wynberg police cluster, says the policing precincts of Rondebosch, Mowbray, Claremont, Wynberg and Muizenberg have experienced an increase in robberies, especially street and residential robberies, over the past few weeks.

“Most of these incidents have been reported during early morning and late evening into the night,” she says.

Latchman says people are mostly robbed of their personal belongings by unknown suspects armed with either a firearm or knife. Safety tipsThe police have provided safety tips that can prevent someone from a becoming a victim of crime.

These precautions include informing a family member or friend of your destination and estimated time of arrival.

Latchman also urges the public to not walk alone in isolated areas, especially at night. “Walk in well-lit areas and avoid alleys, shortcuts or secluded areas. Walk along sidewalks and avoid bushes or other potential hiding places,” she says.

Avoid carrying large sums of cash or openly displaying your cellphone, iPods and laptops.

Latchman further urges the public to wear clothing and shoes that can allow them freedom of movement if they have to run from their attacker.

“Avoid carrying too many packages. Always be aware of your surroundings. If you are wearing headphones, do not turn up the volume so that you cannot hear outside noises,” she says.

The public are also warned against hitchhiking or accepting rides from strangers.

“If you feel that you are being followed, drive to the nearest police station so that you can be escorted home or request the help of your security provider to meet you at your residence, especially if you are arriving home late,” Latchman says.

Motorists are asked to always check their rear-view mirrors to see if anyone is following them and to report all suspicious people and cars to their local police station.

Latchman urges residents to make sure they have the contact details of their neighbours in case of an emergency and know which cars their neighbours drive.

“If you see any suspicious cars or persons in front of a neighbour’s house, call them and ask them if they know about the car standing outside,” she says.

She further suggests that you look around to see if there is any unknown person standing around.

You can also drive past your home to make sure that you are not followed when turning back.

“If you do not feel comfortable, drive straight to the police station,” she says.

Latchman further encourages residents to ensure that they keep their hedges trimmed, that there are no low-hanging branches and to make sure that dark spots are lit. Install security lights that go on when entering the premises, install a panic button in the garage and house within reach when you enter and install cameras.

“Since these incidents have been reported the affected station precincts have embarked on intensive crime prevention operations, which include stop-and-searches, car checkpoints and high visibility foot and car patrols,” she says

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