It is again that time of the year where many people will be going on holidays and others will be relaxing at home. It is this time of festive season when our communities become relaxed forgetting that criminals take this as an opportunity to maximise their criminal activities.
As the police we will be performing special operations in line with Operation Safer Festive Season in ensuring the safety our people. Pro-active measures need to be in palace in order to ensure that everyone enjoys a crime free festive season.
The police would like to warn community members to take heed of the following and assist law enforcement agencies in taking measures in safeguarding their property.
Read more: Saferproject: Beware of Card skimming theft
- House keys should never be left lying around or kept dangling on the outside doors. They should be kept in a safe place and out of sight.
- Owners to park their vehicles in the garages or behind locked gates. Even if vehicle is parked in the garage, make sure that the garage doors and vehicle is locked and that the vehicle’s alarm is activated.
- Take note and be observant of any bushy or vacant areas near your house as most of the time, criminals will hide the stolen items in the bushes and return later to fetch it. Keep these areas clean on a regular basis cutting long grass and removing bushes.
- Never leave valuable item (laptops, cellphones) lying around before going to bed.
- Do not ignore the irritating bark of the dogs. Housebreakers will rarely enter through the front door of a house so dogs will alert you of exactly where they are. Phone police immediately of any suspicious or unusual activity.
- Do not buy any stolen goods. If you buy stolen goods, more victims will suffer because buying goods obtained in this manner motivates criminals to repeat their actions. Receiving stolen goods is punishable by law.
- Reject and report stolen goods to police or Crime Stop 08600 10111.
- Avoid isolated ATMs and using an ATM late at night. Never give your card or pin number to anyone for whatever reason –not even a bank official, security personnel or a police officer. Never accept help from strangers when using an ATM. Beware of shoulder surfing – if you are distracted by someone while you are attempting to make a transaction, cancel your transaction immediately.
- Avoid making huge cash withdrawals or carrying large amount of money as this draws criminals’ attention to you.
- Those with stockvels or social club groups are urged not to make withdrawals of their savings but rather go inside the bank and request them help you transfer the beneficiaries’ share to their bank accounts.
- During the holiday season, shopping centres and the CBD will be buzzing with people doing their Christmas shopping. Make sure that your handbag is close to your body and clutched tightly. Never put your wallet in the back pocket of your jeans/pants.
- Conceal your Cellphone when you are in a public place and do not get tricked into lending your Cellphone to someone to make a call.
- Be alert for con-artists and scams. Be careful when buying goods from the internet, always make sure the websites are the real deal as advertised.
- Parents need to know the whereabouts of their children at all times.
- Do not leave children unattended. Always make sure when they are at the malls or shopping centres, they have adult supervision. Remember that if a child is missing, there is NO waiting period to report that person as missing. Time is of the essence so it should be done immediately. Always have a recent photo of your close family members.
- Parents please NEVER let your children swim in the pool/dams or rivers alone unsupervised.
- Children who cannot swim should never be allowed in the water. An appeal is made to adults not to enter the water whilst under the influence of alcohol, practise water safety at all times.
- Ensure that your vehicle is always in running condition with good tyres (including a spare wheel) and has enough fuel for your planned trip. Know your destination and the directions to it and be alert if you get lost. NEVER, EVER pick up hitchhikers as most criminals pose as hitchhikers only to hijack, rob and/or even hurt or kill you.
- We would like to warn people, especially women not to hitchhike as this can be very dangerous. You do not know the person giving you a lift and by accepting a lift you are placing your life in danger.
- Do not speed, stick to the road speed. Do not text or speak on your cell phone while driving. Stop and rest frequently. Wear safety belts. Make sure your vehicle is roadworthy. Adhere to all the road rules. Do not drink and drive. Do not overload your vehicle. Be an example of good driving. Be alert today and alive tomorrow.
The fight against crime is everyone’s responsibility and we appeal to the community to join hands with us and together we can enjoy a crime free and safer festive season. The South African Police Service and partners will be out in full force to ensure that you, the community is safe. Those who break the law will face that full might of the judicial system. #CRIME MUST FALL.