Be vigilant over the holidays

2017-11-22 06:01


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THE holiday season will soon be upon us and SAPS is reminding people to remain vigilant and be aware of their surroundings to avoid becoming victims of crime, which, unfortunately, tend to spike at this time of the year.

History has shown that over the festive period people become complacent, and at times, oblivious to their surroundings resulting in them becoming victims of crime.

Having launched the Safer Festive Season Operation nationwide on November 4, SAPS and law enforcement officers will be working hard and smart throughout the festive period to ensure that people are safe.

However, police cannot be everywhere at the same time, therefore, we ask people to take cognisance of some of the safety tips that can help prevent them from becoming a statistic.

Money: since money is the primary motivation for most crime, SAPS cautions people against the dangers of carrying large amounts of money on them.

Bank cards can and should be used to conduct all transactions to avoid money-related robberies.

Stokvel members should speak to their bank about their options that may assist them in conducting transactions without having to withdraw their deposit, thus risking robberies, and at times, death.

If it becomes necessary that one has to withdraw a large amount of money, it is important to be aware of people in the bank they may be in the bank with the sole purpose of following and, ultimately, robbing you.

Be aware of who you share information regarding your intentions to withdraw money with, as these very people may arrange for your robbery later.

This also applies to people involved in stokvels. We have reports of people being robbed of large sums of money.

We advise such people to rather use safer and more conventional ways of saving money.

Children: with schools closed children have an enormous­ amount of time on their hands, and this is where additional vigilance by parents and guardians will come in handy.

Know where your children are and who they are with at all times to avoid cases of missing children and accidents such as drowning in swimming pools, dams and rivers.

Put an arm band or plaster with your contact number on their arm or swimming costume.

Often families go out in big groups to the beach and think other family members are watching their children, but later find out that was not the case.

We have lost children through suffocation in abandoned fridges and cars, so we tell parents to be aware of such dangers.

Do not take anything for granted.

Rules of the road: people are advised to obey to the rules of the road. Following the triple “P” approach - be prepared, patient and polite when on the roads will go a long way in preventing road carnage.

Drinking and driving and speeding are some of the major causes of fatal accidents, therefore this is taboo on the roads and transgressors will face the full might of the law.

Another underestimated factor that contributes to the carnage on our roads is fatigue.

Take turns driving with another licenced driver and if alone, make regular stops to avoid fatigue.

Other safety tips that can help save lives are that motorists should plan their travel routes well in advance and make their whereabouts known to family and friends.

Carry an emergency kit to assist for when you experience a vehicle breakdown or are involved in an accident.

There is also a tendency of criminals to prey on careless people.

Residence: at home make the intrusion of criminals into your premises as difficult as possible by locking doors and gates, burglar-proofing windows and installing alarm systems. Ensure that lights are switched on at night and off during the day. Arrange for your post to be collected regularly to avoid accumulation because this is a sign that the occupants are not home.

Despite all of these safety tips, the SAPS is committed to ensuring that everyone in eThekwini Outer South Cluster enjoys a peaceful festive season.

- Supplied.


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