Have a safe 2016

2016-01-12 06:00

THE first full week of 2016 is underway with many people back at work after their festive holidays and children back at school next week.

Enforce Security’s experts are therefore warning people to maintain their vigilance to ensure that while going about their daily routines – such as dropping children off at school, driving to and from work, or even while at home, they do not become victims of crime. Business owners are also encouraged to rethink their current security measures as companies continue to be targeted by criminals.

With hijackings still occurring frequently in the greater Durban area, drivers commuting to and from work are urged to always be aware of their surroundings, especially when stopping at intersections or robots, as well as keeping their eyes open for vehicles which may possible be following them.

Nico Potgieter, Head of Investigations at Enforce, reiterated that driveways are popular hijacking spots and so warns people to be cautious when leaving or arriving at home. He also cautions parents to be extra vigilant when dropping off or picking up their children, saying hijackers often targeted vehicles in crowded places, such as outside schools in peak morning or early afternoon periods,

In fact, he says such situations allow hijackers to merely wait for their targeted vehicles to come to them.

“If hijackers are looking for particular vehicles to steal, school drop-off and pick-up points, as well as busy shopping centres, are the ideal places for them to lurk. Here there will be many makes and models of vehicles coming and going, so the chances of them finding the vehicles they are looking for increase.”

Potgieter said parents and drivers should be extra vigilant and aware of smartly dressed people ‘lurking around’.

“When drivers stop off outside schools, for example, hijackers could be hanging around. They may then start slowly walking towards vehicles they may want to hijack…If you do not feel comfortable stopping somewhere, rather don’t. Take a drive around the block if need be.”

He also urges residents to continue being vigilant with their home security now that many homes are vacant with children and parents back and school and work. The most important part of residential security is securing the gates and perimeters, he says.

“Brackets for the gates and beams for outside are more important than the alarm on its own. If you only have an alarm system then when it goes off the perpetrators are already inside your home.”

He also reiterates previous warnings to residents to ensure their windows and doors are closed – and locked – at all times to avoid opportunistic crime. He says this is imperative, despite the summer heat. Residents should rely on fans and air-conditioners to keep them cool.

For parents who have children and domestic workers at home, Potgieter advises that they ensure all home occupants are aware of safety precautions, including not talking to strangers – either on the phone or in the streets, and knowing where panic buttons are located, and how to press them.

For business owners Enforce Director Derek Lategan strongly advises that security measures are reevaluated this year, and that owners put in place better security measure to avoid being targeted by syndicates.

“Unfortunately many businesses feel that an alarm system is enough to deter criminals, and opt for glass doors or other attractive entrances which provide for easy – and quick – entrances and exits. Instead, they should be making entry and exit difficult. Until this mind-set changes from Easy In, Easy Out to Hard

In, Hard Out, syndicates will still target businesses.” Lategan added: “Businesses should invest in good quality CCTV systems with high mega pixel cameras and gated doors – not aluminium gates which are easy to bend with crowbars or even screwdrivers. CCTV cameras should be able to record clear images to allow easy identification, and therefore possible arrest, of those carrying out these crimes.” - Supplied

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