It is time to re-engage you with the importance of crime prevention. Crime affects every South African, but many people still believe “it only happens to other people.”
Many of us have been a victim of a crime or have loved ones that were a victim of crime.
Crime will not get better. In fact, armed-, business-, transit robberies, ATM bombing, farm murders, house & business robberies are on the increase.
In South Africa, crime is getting more and more violent, and criminals feel even less for a victim’s life.
It is a daily reality for every South African citizen.
Unfortunately, too many people still suffer from “ostrich syndrome.”
Are you one of those that say one or more of the following to yourself?
- I pay tax. The police are responsible for my safety;
- My security company costs me a lot of money, and they will keep me safe;
- My trusty dog(s) will protect me from intruders;
- I have an alarm system, electric fencing, and night lights. I’m safe;
- I will shoot the @#$% out of any intruder with my gun;
- It will never happen to me;
- Crime doesn’t happen in my neighbourhood
Then the day comes that you and your loved ones are captured, gagged, raped and even killed.
Have you asked yourself what you are going to do when it happens? What preventative measures have you taken to protect you and your family? Have you and your family planned and exercised emergency action plans? Is safety part of your and your loved ones’ daily lives?
Every one of us has a choice when it comes to the safety of our own lives and the lives of our loved ones.
You can even choose to ignore the following safety tips, but then again, you won’t be able to react when an intruder enters your property, increasing the chances of regretting it for the rest of your life.
Where does one begin? Well, here are a few tips to help you get started:
Join a GPF, Neighbourhood Watch, Farm Watch or any group that helps to prevent crime in your area
Become friends with your neighbours and support each other. Be the eyes and ears in your immediate area. Report any suspicious people, vehicles or activities.
Make sure that emergency numbers are always close.
Install security equipment such as alarm systems, panic buttons, electric fences, CCTV, night lights, burglar bars and join your local security company.
IMPORTANT: Test your security systems once or twice each month. This way you will ensure that your equipment, especially panic buttons, is in good working order. Let your security company fix any systems that are not up to standard.
If you own a weapon, especially for self-defense, it is important to practice every time you get. Also, ensure that your guns are cleaned regularly and ensure it is in working order.
You and your family must create action plans for different scenarios and exercise it regularly. Exercising these actions plans will ensure that each member will know what to do in case of emergencies. These actions plans have to include in- and outside your home as well as your immediate area.
Emergencies include the following:
- House/business burglaries – what do you and your family/staff do when there is a burglary, even if you are at home/work or not?
- Fires – what actions plans do you have in place?
- Armed robberies – what action plans do you have in place when an armed robbery is taking place at your home?
- Transit robberies – what steps are you taking to ensure the safety of your life during a transit robbery?
- Farm attacks – what plans do you have in place to ensure the safety of you and your family?
- Vehicle breaks down – what necessary steps are you taking?
- Children’s safety – human trafficking is a massive reality in South Africa. Teach your children safety protocols at home, during school holidays, school, sports grounds, etc.
- Pet safety – pet robberies is becoming a big problem in South Africa. Are your pets safe at home?
- ATM safety – what security protocols do you have in place when you draw money from an ATM?
- Walking, jogging and cycling safety – what measures are you taking to ensure your safety while you are walking, jogging or cycling?
- Vehicle safety – what steps are you taking to ensure the safety of your vehicle while driving or when you park at shopping malls or shopping centres?
- Arrive & depart from home – look around and always ensure that you are safe when entering or exiting your property.
We hope this article will help you realise the implications for crime in South Africa and also assist in creating precautions to ensure that you and your family are always safe.
Unfortunately, no one will ever be prepared fully when something terrible happens, but when it comes to crime, “prevention is better than cure.”
It is imperative to create action plans, exercise it regularly and test your alarm systems on a regular basis, at least once a month.