THE South Africa Community Crime Watch (SACCW) and Hillcrest CPF have urged residents to be on the lookout for criminal activities this coming festive season. Hillcrest CPF chairman and founder of the SACCW Steven King said that this warning is not to bring about panic but is rather a cautionary message to the residents of the Outer west.“There has been in increase in criminal activity in Hillcrest and surrounding areas over the last couple of months and heading into the festive season it’s not going to get any better,” he said.King offered tips on how one can try to avoid becoming a victim this festive season.1. Before getting into bed at night, make sure there are no tools of opportunity lying around the property (such as spades, picks, ladders etc.) that could be used to gain entry to your house.2. Make sure garages, sheds, doors, and windows are locked and alarms are set.3. If you hear a noise outside don’t go out — contact your armed response to do a patrol. Many house robberies in Hillcrest over the years have occurred as a result of people opening doors etc. to look out. And don’t open for dogs to go out and do their business — it’s easier to clean up doggie poop than blood.4. Don’t leave any valuables in cars overnight, not even in the boot — thieves will damage your car and take what they can get. You should also park your car in a well-lit area and speak to your alarm company about installing a passive which will detect movement near your vehicle.5. Make sure all house keys are accounted for before going to bed and keep a phone on charge and a panic button nearby.6. If you have a firearm make sure you know how and when to use it, and that it’s in working condition. 7. Test your alarm system once a month and make sure it works. There is nothing like the sound of silence when you press your panic button and someone is in your house or on the property. 8. Have a small dog inside and a big dog outside if possible. The little ones are sharper and will warn you if anything is amiss, plus suspects won’t be able to poison them if they are inside your house.9. Report all suspicious activity, people and cars. Report all crime.10. If you cannot afford an alarm, give us a call for alternative options. We will gladly come and see you to discuss a no obligation option.In conclusion, King urged communities to remain vigilant at all times and practice the basic safety procedures which they all should know by now. “Unfortunately it is human nature to become complacent and that is when criminals seek out our weak points and strike,” ended King.