Police urge vigilance as holidays draw near
During the festive period, people tend to be complacent and at times oblivious about their surroundings, resulting in them becoming victims of crime. After launching the Safer Festive Season Operation, SAPS, together with other law enforcement officers, will be working hard throughout the festive period to ensure that people in South Africa are and feel safe.
“We want to urge people to take cognisance of some of the safety tips that can help prevent them from becoming a statistic. Since money is the primary motivation for most crime, SAPS would like to caution people against the dangers of carrying large amounts of money on them. Bank cards can and should be used to conduct all sorts of transactions to avoid all money related robberies. “Members of stokvels should rather speak to their banks about the available banking products that may assist them in conducting transactions without having to withdraw all of their deposits, thus risking robberies and, at times, death,” said SAPS in a statement.
SAPS cautioned that if it becomes necessary for one to withdraw a large amount of money, it is important to be aware of other people in the bank, as others may be in the bank with the sole purpose of following and, ultimately robbing you. “Be aware with whom you share information on your intentions to withdraw money, as the very people may arrange for your robbery later. This also applies to people involved in stokvels. We have reports in the past of people being robbed of large sums of money. We urge such people to rather use safer and more conventional ways of saving money,” SAPS said.
With schools closed, children have time in their hands, and this is where additional vigilance by parents and guardians will come in handy.
“Know where your children are at all times and who are they with to avoid cases of missing children and accidents such as drowning in swimming pools, dams and rivers. We have lost children through suffocation in abandoned fridges and cars in the past, so we urge parents to be aware of such dangers. Do not take anything for granted,” SAPS said.
Rules of the road
People are urged to obey the rules of the road. Following the “triple P” approach of being prepared, patient and polite when on the roads will go a long way in preventing road carnage. Drinking and driving and speeding are some of the major causes of fatal accidents. Another underestimated factor that contributes to accidents is fatigue. Take turns driving with another licensed driver and if alone, make regular stops to avoid fatigue.
Some of the other safety tips that can help save lives are that motorists should plan their travel routes well in advance and make their whereabouts known to family and friends. Avoid travelling at night and in remote areas. Carry an emergency kit to assist when you experience a vehicle breakdown or involved in an accident.
Home safety tips
At a place of residence, SAPS recommends making the intrusion of criminals as difficult as possible by locking doors and gates, burglar-proofing windows and installing alarm systems. Ensure that lights are switched on at night and off during the day.
Arrange for your post to be picked up regularly to avoid accumulation because this is a sign that people are not home for a long period. “Despite all of these safety tips, SAPS is committed to ensuring that everyone in the country enjoys a peaceful festive season. Our recently-launched Safer Festive Operation is our means to achieve that end,” SAPS said.