Domestics walking through riverbeds in urban areas

– Never walk through these at night
– Never walk through these alone
– Try to select a route with least plant growth and hiding places for criminals. Pay attention to different times of the year, for example some routes may become more dangerous after spring
– Carry pepper spray and always be alert
– Being distracted by a cellphone can make you an easy target, avoid using it at those times
– When working extra late, ask for a ride to the nearest taxi stop or place of gathering

How not to become a smash ‘n grab victim:

1.Lock all your doors and close the windows when driving

2.Avoid opening your windows or getting involved in discussions with street vendors or anyone handing out flyers

3.Constantly be on the lookout for suspicious looking characters.

4.Always be conscious of your surroundings and remain alert when coming to an intersection or stopping your vehicle.

5.Be wary of people standing at intersections. They may be innocent but perpetrators mix with these people while waiting for an opportunity to pounce.

6. If you encounter obstacles such as rocks or tyres do not get out of your vehicle to remove them -immediately reverse and drive off in the opposite direction.

7.If it’s late at night, slow down well in advance so that the light changes green by the time you reach the intersection.

8.Leave a gap between you and the car in front of you to give you room to escape (i.e. drive away from the scene), if anything should happen.

9.Be especially wary whenever you see broken glass lying on the road. If the pieces of glass are still scattered across the road, chances are that a smash and grab occurred just recently.

10.Stow away your belongings such as shopping bags and laptops in the boot of your vehicle before leaving a parking area.

Reporting Crime

Eyewitness information is the key to solving many crimes. The following tips will assist you when reporting crime to Nampol / City Pol or PPNHW.

Call immediately. A five-minute delay can reduce the chance of catching criminals.
Tell Nampol / City Pol and PPNHW as much as you can. No fact is too trivial. In many cases, what victims and witnesses tell the police about the criminal that results in an arrest.
You may be asked the following when reporting a crime:

Who, What, When, and Where?
How many suspects were there?
Can you describe the suspect(s)?
Can you describe their vehicle(s)?
What was/were the license plate number(s)?
What did they do?
What did they say?
What did they take?
Which way did they go?

Alarm Safety Tips

Test your alarm regularly and at least once a month with your service provider

Make sure your AR service provider receives closing, burglary alarm and panic signals. Confirm by subscription via the sms service or install a sms unit by which you can also remote arm and disarm

Set up your system that you can use it at night with the “stay arm function”

Test your remotes and replace batteries and alarm back-up batteries annually

Test your electric fence and beams regularly and keep fence wires free of seasonal plant growth

Teach your kids and domestic where the panic buttons are, when and how to use them

Use moth balls and double sided tape to deter insects from alarm beams and “eyes”

When the AR company don’t have access to your premises, make sure you have a designated key holder with contact details registered on their system to provide entry when required

Invest in your own security and have reasonable expectations of what your system is capable of doing. Be vigilant and look for the soft target areas as to where you should improve your system

Make sure your transmitter is protected with an “eye” or other trigger, especially those installed above the ceiling. Many times criminals rip out the transmitter before it is triggered, in that case no one is on their way to protect you or your assets.

Personal Safety Tips on the Street

If possible, don’t walk alone during late-night hours. Walk in groups whenever you can—there is always safety in numbers.
Let a family member or friend know your destination and your estimated time of arrival or return. That way, the police and NHW can be notified as quickly as possible if there is a problem.
Stay in well-lit areas as much as possible. Avoid alleys, vacant lots, wooded areas, and other short-cuts or secluded areas. They are usually not well-lit or heavily traveled.
Walk on the sidewalk whenever possible. Walk close to the curb, avoiding doorways, bushes, and other potential hiding places.
If you have to walk in the street, walk facing traffic. A person walking with traffic can be followed, forced into a car, and abducted more easily than a person walking against traffic.
Walk confidently, directly, and at a steady pace. Don’t stop to talk to strangers.
Wear clothing and shoes that give you freedom of movement. And don’t burden yourself with too many packages or items.
Always be aware of your surroundings. If you are wearing headphones, don’t turn up the volume so high that you cannot hear outside noises.
Never hitchhike or accept rides from strangers.
Report any suspicious activity or person immediately to PPNHW and the Police.
Avoid carrying large sums of cash, or displaying expensive jewellery in public.

Here’s a list of 7 common burglary myths

Home Security Myth 1:

Windows are the most popular point of entry for burglars.
Surprisingly, research tells us that a lot of criminals would choose to use doors over windows to gain access to homes. Couple this with the fact so many burglaries are said to happen while people are actually at home, even if you’re in a gated community, leaving your doors unlocked when home is a big home safety and security risk. Make sure your windows are barred, but also ensure your security gate is locked and secure at all times.

Home Security Myth 2:

Big dogs deter Burglars
What deters would-be criminals is not the size of your dog, but the size of the bark. The dog’s bark, how much it barks and the pitch, is what alerts criminals to the presence of a dog which is a big security threat deterrent. Smaller dogs are actually much better barkers than larger dogs and therefore possibly better at alerting you to an intruder so that you can act accordingly…Such as call for help, push the panic button or run to your safe room.

Home Security Myth 3:

Burglars can’t find your hidden valuables
Burglars are masters at what they do and chances are that secret hiding place you put your documents and valuables into, isn’t so secret after all. This is because most people hide their stuff in the same places. The best thing to do is to think of the most unusual place, like your freezer or the pantry and spread your valuables around these different areas. Alternatively a secure safe, which cannot be removed, will ensure your valuables are safe in the event of a burglary.

Home Security Myth 4:

Burglars need time to break in
Thieves go for opportunity and quickly scope out their area for easy targets. Homes that are poorly secured, empty or have no security companies, and take their gap quickly. They know that it can take security companies a few minutes to arrive and more than 20 minutes for the police to arrive, so even if someone does see them and alert the authorities, they have time to get what they came for a leave. A professional criminal doesn’t need 20 minutes; research says they can be in and out in minutes. So whether you’re popping into the shop or going for a walk – lock those doors!

Home Security Myth 5:

Your home is most vulnerable to burglars at night
It’s natural for us to feel our homes are more vulnerable at night when we’re out as a lot of break-ins do occur in the dark and this gives burglars added camouflage from being seen. However, with so many people leaving their homes unattended from morning to night when the family is at work or school, daylight break ins are becoming easier to pull off and more and more prominent. Get to know your neighborhood and neighbors!

Home Security Myth 6:

No Mail is better than some mail.
We learnt that letting the mail and flyers pile up, alerts criminals that you’re away. However, not having anything delivered at all, could also be a sign to someone who’s watching your home that you’ve gone away. The best thing would be to get a friend or a neighbor to collect mail while you’re on vacation to give the impression you’re still at the property.

Home Security Myth 7:

Having an alarm is enough of a deterrent for burglars
A lot of us tend to put alarm decals on our property to show which security system and company we are using. For those pro burglars, that’s just the info they need to research the company and find ways around it. Instead, keep them guessing, put generic signage up or varied signage to help keep your home and your valuables secure.
Knowing security myths can ensure you don’t have a false sense of security and make your home much safer from break ins.

Know your surroundings

Familiarise yourself with your residence when it’s dark. Intruders rely on the element of surprise. If you switch on a light or torch, you give away your position. Walk through your house a few times with all inside lights off and identify possible problem areas or unsafe areas.

It’s no use waking up to a strange noise at 02:00 in the morning with sleep in your eyes and you cannot find your way efficiently through your own home!

Use the element of surprise to your advantage and protect your loved ones with an action plan.

Car Break-Ins: Avoiding Car Theft Smash-and-Grab

Car Break-Ins: Avoiding Car Theft Smash-and-Grab

It takes less than a minute for a thief to break your car window and snatch the iPod, laptop, or purse on the front seat. Think about that the next time you dash in to pick up a cup of coffee or return a DVD. That’s 60 . . . 59 . . . 58 . . . 57 . . . 56 . . .

Car Break-In Prevention Tips

1. Keep your car visible park in well-lit areas near people or with an on-duty parking lot or garage attendant. Avoid having your car concealed by larger vehicles, fences, or foliage; thieves like to work in private.

2. Don’t make it easy keep windows and sunroofs closed and doors locked. Almost one-fourth of thefts from vehicles are from unlocked cars.

3. Activate your vehicle’s alarm, don’t have one? Factory-installed and theft systems are best, but a professionally-installed alarm can discourage a car break-in thief who likes to work in silence.

4. Hide your valuables, many smash-and-grab thieves act on impulse, so keep your stuff out of sight – either with you or in a locked trunk. Don’t count on the glove box; thieves know to look there, and they’re easy to break into.

5. Hide your valuables, if you have a wagon or SUV that leaves your cargo area open, get a retractable fitted cover to keep shopping bags or other belongings hidden.

6. Don’t hand a thief your keys, take your keys with you. And if you think you have a great hiding place for a spare key, car break-in thieves know to look above the visor, in the centre console, under the floor mat, in the trunk well, etc.

7. Stow your stuff before arrival. Experienced thieves often stake out parking lots to watch for people putting items in their trunk. Help prevent car break-ins by putting valuables like laptops, messenger bags, and electronic devices into your trunk before you get to the parking lot.

8. Stash the evidence, after you’ve put your stuff in the trunk, don’t forget such tell-tale evidence as power plugs, MP3 adapters, and navigation system windshield suction-cup mounts. Thieves know what they’re looking for, so hide the electronic accessories, too.

9. Trust your instincts, If you see suspicious activity, find another spot to park. If you’re concerned, tell the attendant or report your suspicions to police. You may be helping keep another person from being a victim of a car break-in or worse.

10. Take it one more step, many vehicles are broken into with the intent of stealing the vehicle itself. Visible anti-theft devices, like steering wheel locks, steering column collars, or brake pedal locks may discourage the would-be thief from breaking in and trying.

Ten things hijackers do not want you to know

Ten vital points – to keep in mind:

1. Most hijackings occur between 5pm and 8pm as people arrive home from work. Hijackers go for people who are laid-back and relaxed because they are easier targets.
2. Hijackers also don’t like it when you park your car in a well-lit environment or unpack your stuff where everyone can see you.
3. People who communicate in advance when they will get home at night are safer than those who do not.
4. Always ensure that your doors are locked and your windows closed. A bonus is having smash-and-grab protection installed.
Hijackers will either take the car when you are opening the gate or break your window at an intersection.
5. Hijackers also avoid taking cars with a number of people in them because they know that their target may not be vulnerable. Avoid driving alone, especially at night.
6. When at an intersection at night, always be observant of what’s going on around you. Hijackers want to strike when you least expect it.
7. Hijackers always follow targets on numerous occasions before they strike. Varying your route makes life difficult for them.
8. Do not take advice from just anyone at night about your car. This is often a strategy to distract you before you are hijacked.
9. Look confident when driving. Don’t look distracted or lost. People who look like they know where they are going are less likely to be hijacked.
10. Don’t leave enough space for a car to cut in front of your vehicle. Criminals don’t want you to know this one because they are working on cornering you at one point or another.

Be safe.

Safety Tip – In and around your home

1.Your own home security facilities could be ineffective. Criminals generally take about 2 minutes to go into a house. They come with cars and tools. They break in mostly at early evening hours (people are relaxed and house is not secured) and early mornings when people are sleeping very deep.

a.Electrical fence – criminals have many ways of bypassing the electrical fence; electrical fence is the weakest link; another weak item is the roof.
b.Beams proved to be very effective recently, its an unseen barrier.
c.Alarm system – to keep alarm effective have also infrared sensors in the roof.
d.Burglar bars –  when you make them stronger, also think about how to get out of your house in case of a fire.
e.Strong entry doors also help; improve your doors; inside “slam-lock” doors are also effective.
f.Cameras – do not stop anybody to break in; they just show /record.

2.Do all you can that will help to delay the break in. You could put up a lot of security measures to delay as much as possible; also make sure that there is somebody to call /rescue you when something do happen.

3.Test your alarm/ fence at least two times per month; when alarm goes off/on, your alarm response people should come to check; ask them to do that.

4.Another big weakness is the front sliding gate: most wheels have a track; the criminal only needs to lift 1-2cm to open the gate; check also your gear depth of your gate; to improve the gate make sure they cannot lift the gate. A rod & hole helps at the closing end.

5.When criminals come from the street, they usually have a car waiting for them, therefore secure your perimeter – with beams and a proper gate. Secure your perimeter also in the early evening while at home.

6.Criminals may also enter via neighboring yards; when they come , they come in numbers; don’t go outside when you see them or hear something. Stay inside!

7.Dogs: best is to have dogs that bark; they can wake you up; a dog that does not show aggression is a problem when you need help. A small dog inside the house also proves to be effective.

8.Shooting: using that as a self- defense method, you should be careful; you should be familiar with the law.

9.Talk to your people/ family in your house about safety and about robbery situations and when they happen, what you should do; have emergency numbers with big numbers where everyone can see them.

10.Have clear signs/ house numbers outside for direction.

11.Talk to your neighbors about if something should happen around/ within your houses , what they should do.

12.Be aware of your environment; when you wake up, 1st listen, smell, look around, find things that are changed; use darkness to your advantage and familiarize yourself with your environment.

13.Have a fire extinguisher, and know how to use it.

14.Have a proper First Aid Kit, and know how to use it.

15.Have a torch next to your bed, in case of fire.

16.As a NHW member, it is important to understand what are you doing and why; the neighbor is normally the 1st person on the scene and able to help you.

17.Social media: do not post any random information on social media, especially if it is not confirmed; same for WhatsApp, use it wisely.