Xpanda has shared the following article from News24 on how to avoid becoming a victim of crime.
IT has come to the attention of SAPS Amanzimtoti management that there has been an increase in the following property related crimes in our area.
These include residential housebreaking, house robberies, theft, theft out of motor vehicles and motor vehicle theft.
SAPS urges the community to be vigilant and apply the following safety tips:
Using a motor vehicle
• Keep all car doors locked and windows closed. Set your alarm or use an anti-theft device. Ensure vehicle is locked when using remote locking system before you walk away.
• If you must shop at night, park in a well-lit area.
• Avoid parking next to vans, trucks with camper shells or cars with tinted windows.
• Park as close as you can to your destination.
• Do not leave packages or valuables on the seat of your car. This is a big temptation for thieves. If you must leave something in the car, lock it in the boot.
• When approaching or leaving your vehicle, be aware of your surroundings.
Using an ATM
• If you must use an ATM, choose one that is located inside a shopping mall, a garage or well-lit location.
• Withdraw only the amount of cash that you need.
• Protect your Pin by shielding the ATM keypad from anyone who is standing near you.
• Do not accept help from anyone if you did not request such.
• Ask a bank employee for assistance if needed.
• Shop during the day if possible. If you must shop at night, ensure that a friend or family member accompanies you.
• Avoid wearing expensive jewellery.
• Even though you are in a rush and thinking about a thousand things, be aware of your surroundings.
• Avoid carrying large amounts of cash.
• Pay for purchases with a cheque or credit card if possible.
• Notify the credit card issuer immediately if your credit card is lost, stolen or misused.
• Keep a record of your credit card numbers in a safe place at home.
• Be extra careful if you carry a wallet or purse. They are the prime targets of criminals in crowded shopping areas, transportation terminals, bus stops, on buses and other rapid transit.
• Avoid overloading yourself with packages. It is important to have clear visibility and freedom of motion to avoid mishaps.
• Beware of strangers approaching you for any reason. Con artists try various methods of distracting you with the intention of taking your money or belongings.
• Ensure the gates, garage doors and windows are closed and locked when you are home and when leaving the house.
• Ensure safety gates are locked at all times – during the day and at night.
• When making use of an alarm system, ensure it is activated and linked to a security monitoring company.
• Remember, any open window, no matter how small, creates an opportunity for potential house breakers.
• Do not leave handbags, car keys, etc., in plain sight or near an open window.
• Indoor and outdoor lights should be on an automatic timer if possible.
• Leave a radio or television set on so that the house looks and sounds occupied.
Strangers at your door
• Beware that criminals sometimes pose as courier services or maintenance workers.
• Do not allow anyone to enter your property if you have not reported a fault or requested repairs etc.
• It is not uncommon for criminals to take advantage of the generosity of people by soliciting donations door-to-door for charitable causes even though no charity is involved.
• Only donate to a recognised charitable organisation.
“Despite the tips we have provided here, you can never be too careful or too prepared, but by observing these tips, you may avoid becoming victims.”