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'Silly season is here, crime is on the rise' - Safety tips to avoid hijackings

2017-10-23 07:36

Ryno Schutte / Pro-Active SA

Johannesburg - Our biggest mistake as drivers are that we have become complacent in our thinking trying to remain positive by saying words like “It won’t happen to me” or being macho making it known that “I will show them”.

Pro-Active SA's Ryno Schutte says: "In most businesses the 'Silly Season' is upon us. This is two months before Christmas to give it our all to make some extra income and ensure that our turnover is high enough to pay salaries and possibly also bonuses.

"If that is the mentality of businesses, what do you anticipate then happens in the criminal world? During this period there is generally a peak in crime around the country.

"Social media will explode with information on how to remain safe. You will start seeing big operations being conducted by the SAPS and Law Enforcement in conjunction with Security Service Providers nationally."

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Pro-active SA, a vehicle security and tracking company, says: 'Be safe and vigilant over the next few months and report any suspicious behaviour to your local SAPS and Security Service Provider." 

Schutte continues: "Working together as a community can become very fruitful, so let’s all do our part. 

How about we think before we speak or act. Is your vehicle really worth your life or the life of your child?"

Here are a few golden rules to take into consideration while on the road.

Before Leaving your location:

1 GET OFF YOUR PHONE while approaching your vehicle. Yes we all say we can multitask, but can we really?

2 Take a walk around your vehicle to confirm that there is no one lurking around or in your vehicle before getting into your vehicle.

3 If your child will be driving with you, let them sit behind the driver of the vehicle. This will ensure that in the event of an incident that the driver can remove and shield the child with their backs towards the hijackers / suspects.

4 Ensure your number plates are both on the vehicle and no papers are stuck to the rear or front windows of your vehicle. This is a trend used by suspects to lure you into stopping while your vehicle is running to either retrieve the number plate or remove the papers.

5 Place all valuable items out of sight either under the seat or in the boot of your vehicle. Smash and grabs are also on the increase.

6 Ensure your windows and doors are closed and locked before leaving.

7 Plan your route before departure.

While Driving:

1 REMAIN OFF YOUR PHONE. Not only are you at risk for being involved in an accident while driving and being on your phone, you are also placing your fellow drivers at risk. Not to mention it is illegal. Put your phone on silent or out of reach while driving.

2 Be vigilant at all times and report any suspicious behaviour to the SAPS and your Local Security Service Provider.

3 If your windscreen or tyre is damaged while driving, drive to a well lit area before stopping to inspect the damage.

4 Do not stop for anyone that might indicate they are in need of help in deserted or high risk areas. Contact Law Enforcement, the SAPS or Security Company to assist.

5 Take a different route daily when leaving home or returning home. Criminals pounce on the fact that we are following the same routine and routes.

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6 Though there is a misconception that only certain makes and models are being stolen or hijacked, if there is a need for a certain make or model vehicle in the vehicle crime market will any vehicle become a target.

7 Lower your music, eliminating distractions and be extra vigilant 1 km from your destination, ensuring that you are not being followed.

8 Park parallel to your home opening the gate prior to  pulling into the driveway. Parking in your driveway while opening your gate might get you boxed in.

WATCH: Quick-thinking Porsche driver outwits armed hijacker

In the unfortunate event of a Hijacking:

1 At no given time resist the attacker or suspects.

2 Keep your hands visible at all times as the suspects are as nervous as you are.

3 Be submissive and listen to the suspects’ instructions.

4 Do not resist once you have exited the vehicle.

5 Place your child that is in a baby seat behind you to remove the child with ease. Indicate to the suspect that you have a child in the backseat and remove the child by shielding him / her as much as possible.

6 Remain calm and try to identify any useful information about the hijackers without staring at them.

7 Create time and space as quickly as possible between yourself and the threat.

8 Take note of the Language the suspects speak

9 Count the number of voices.

10 Listen to the information the suspects share amongst themselves and possibly via cellphone.

11 Estimate the height of the suspects by comparing it to your own height.

12 Identify any clothing, markings and shoes of the suspects. Some suspects change their clothes but not their shoes.

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