Be safe this Easter

Pinetown SAPS spokesperson Captain B.J. Manqele.PHOTO:nosipho mkhize
Pinetown SAPS spokesperson Captain B.J. Manqele.PHOTO:nosipho mkhize

AS we approach the Easter holidays, members of the public are warned to be vigilant when sitting in or parking their vehicles. According to Pinetown SAPS spokesperson Captain B.J. Manqele, most people are robbed or hijacked while stationary in their vehicles. Manqele offered tips to follow when in your vehicle:


SAFETY AWARENESS IN A VEHICLE

• Ensure that your vehicle is in a good condition when you plan to go on a journey.

• Always lock your vehicles doors and keep the windows closed when in the car.

• Do not leave your vehicle unlocked, even if you think you will be away for only a minute.

• If a stranger wants to talk to you while you are in your vehicle, do not open the window wide . A five-centimetre gap is enough to have a discussion.

• If something seems suspicious, do not talk to strangers, rather be rude and drive away.

• Limit your trips at night or at least take someone with you.

• Vary the route you travel to work and back, if this is possible.

• If approached by a stranger while in your car, drive off if possible or press your hooter to attract attention.

• If strangers loiter near or at your driveway, rather drive past. If they loiter for a long time, report it to your nearest police station.

• Carjackers may stage a minor accident so they can approach your car.

• If your car is bumped from behind and you do not feel comfortable with the individuals involved in the situation, drive to the nearest police station for help.

• If being hijacked, do not reach for your purse or valuables. Leave everything behind if forced from the car. Your life is more valuable than your possessions.

• Do not resist, especially if the thief has a weapon.

• Give up your vehicle with no questions asked and move away.

• A lift club limits the risk of becoming a victim of crime.

• Do not give strangers a lift.

• A gear lock is an affordable and a very effective anti-theft device.

• If possible, put a mirror up against the front wall of your garage so you can see if someone is following you into the garage.

• Do not open your garage doors before your garden gate is closed.

WHEN PARKING OR DRIVING YOUR VEHICLE

• Avoid parking your motor vehicle where there are no security officers guarding other cars.

• Do not leave your firearm in the motor vehicle’s cubbyhole or anywhere in the vehicle when you park the vehicle (this is against the law).

• Make sure that all the doors and windows are properly locked when you park your car.

• Valuable items like a laptop and camera should be put in the boot of your car.

• Be aware of people coming to you and informing you that you have a flat tyre, the intention could be to steal items that they see inside the car or to steal your car.

• Always close your windows when driving in the city centre.

• Do not open your windows for hawkers along the road and at the stop lights.

• Keep the doors locked and windows closed at all times.

• Do not use a cellphone unless you have a hands-free kit.

• At night, park in well-lit areas.

• If in doubt about the safety of an area, phone a police station for advice.

• Practice the same prevention skills you apply in parking lots or garages at home.

• Become familiar with your route before you start the trip.

• Do not leave your goods or valuable items visible in the car.

• Do not leave your keys in the ignition.

• Remove detachable radios and the radio’s face when getting out of the car.

• Try to fit an alarm and/or anti-theft device in your car.

• Have your keys ready in your hand as you approach your car, especially if they are difficult to find in your handbag.

• Parking lots with a parking attendant or supervision or someone patrolling are best, otherwise try to park in locations that are well-lit or well-populated and not crowded by bushes where criminals might hide.

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