South Africans have been experiencing a spate of criminal activity over many years. However, over the past couple of months, there has been a marked increase in unfamiliar and novel crimes such as car jamming and a new trend called “apple picking”, which sees criminals target iPhone users in parking lots and restaurants. However, besides insuring oneself, there are basic tips all South Africans can follow to reduce chances of being a victim of crime.
According to recent statistics by Crimewatch, South Africa faced 20 680 armed robberies against businesses alone – a record high. This equates to 57 attacks per day. Crime statistics released by the SAPS (1 April 2016 to 31 March 2017), also reveals an average of 146 common robberies taking place every day and 386 robberies with aggravating circumstances.
“This highlights the need for individuals to be attentive and to take precautions wherever possible. Furthermore, consumers need to ensure they have sufficient coverage should they fall victim to the many criminal trends, like ‘apple picking’ and remote-blocking,” explains Hannes Smith, Head of Collaboration at Old Mutual Insure.
The last place you want to find yourself in is a situation where you cannot replace a stolen item, especially something important like a cell phone. Insuring your items will enable you to claim and replace your lost property with relative ease.
Here are a few tips to prevent you from becoming a victim of crime:
- Be aware of your environment no matter where you are. Are there any suspicious individuals around you or following you?
- If you think someone is following you, go to a public area where other people are around.
- Avoid using your cell phone when walking in public areas such as shopping centres, the street, etc.
- Avoid using your cell phone in your car while your window is open otherwise you become an easy target. Keep your phone in a place where it cannot be seen from the car window.
- Try using different routes when going home. Also, if you get home and you see a suspicious car, rather continue driving on and call your security company.
- If possible, reverse into your drive way. This will increase your awareness of your environment and allow you to easily evade any attempted robbery.
- When walking in the streets, try to have a crowd or friend with you. One person is always an easy target.
“These are just a few hints and tips that we can incorporate into our everyday lives to increase our alertness and lower our risk,” concludes Smith.