Safeguard your home and neighbourhood this festive season

Maintain sound safety measures and habits at home, and inform your neighbours, the South African Police Service and the community-based watches of any suspicious behaviour and activities in your area.

Newcastle SAPS Corporate Communications and Liaison Officer, Captain Jabulani Ncube has urged residents to ensure they properly safeguard their homes during the month of December.

The following tips and safety measures can be followed:

– Know your neighbours and maintain good relations with them.

– Have the contact details of the security companies, community-based watches, emergency services and the police station, readily available.

– Have alternative means of communication in case the telephone lines and cellular phones are not working.

“Become part of the crime prevention programmes initiated by the South African Police Service, and the community,” he said.

– Have sound relationships with all role players involved, and know who to contact in case of an emergency.

– Consider establishing a neighbourhood watch in your area, or become involved in the existing neighbourhood watch.

– Participate in simulation exercises with the South African Police Service to test the effectiveness of the response to incidents.

“Maintain sound safety measures and habits at home, and inform your neighbours, the South African Police Service and the community-based watches of any suspicious behaviour and activities in your area.”

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– Keep a register with the details of all persons on the premises, including workers, and do not allow unnecessary and uncontrolled access to the premises.

– Regularly clear the area around your house of bushes and clean the premises and eradicate all possible hiding places. Lock away all tools and implements.

“Be vigilant and ensure that all persons on the premises, including workers and visitors, are also vigilant and know what to do in case of suspicious behaviour and/or an emergency.”

– Do not react blindly to any suspicious activities, especially not at night.

– Do not keep a large sum of cash and/or valuables on the premises.

– Ensure that additional safety measures have been implemented if you are selling any products from the premises

– Do not leave your windows, doors or garages open.

– Never leave keys in the gate or lock, or under the mat, pot plant or in the post box.

– Do not leave expensive or attractive items lying around the garden.

– Keep cash and valuables in banks or safes.

– Put house lights on when out late, good lighting can deter a thief.

“Install a burglar alarm and test regularly and keep your cellphone in the bedroom.”

– Remember outside lights that are on during the day draw the attention of thieves that no one is home.

– Mail left in the gate is also a high sign that nobody is home. Get a friend or neighbour to keep an eye on your property and remove the mail.

– Never leave workmen unattended in your house.

– Conduct thorough background checks before employing anyone.

– Never open the door automatically when the bell rings or if someone knocks. Make sure the person wanting to enter is expected.

“Unsuspecting domestic workers, gardeners and children are often approached by robbers pretending to be telephone repairmen, plumbers, municipal inspectors and many other professions.”

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– In an attempt to gain entrance to the house the robbers may pretend to talk to the owner of the house so as to put pressure on the unsuspecting victims to open the door or gate.

– Robbers have on occasion been known to pose as police members. You can identify a police member in the following way:

“Members must carry an identification card stating the member’s name, rank, service number and photograph. If in uniform the member will wear a name plate on the badge, as well as epaulettes indicating rank. Members may be requested to identify themselves with their identification cards (known as appointment certificates in the SAPS).”

– A watchdog is a good early warning system. Keep the dog visible as a deterrent, but beyond the reach of strangers.

– The unexplained death of a watchdog is a warning sign of a burglary being planned. Poisons used to kill or incapacitate dogs are also very poisonous to humans and must be handled with extreme caution and only by experts.

“Dogs that are outside and can bark at anything that walks by are less effective alarm systems than dogs that kept inside the house that only bark when someone is a direct threat to you.”

– When approaching your house entrance, ensure that it is safe to enter and that you have not been followed.

– Be on the lookout for persons loitering at the entrance, vehicles stopping when you slow down or anything unusual at your home.

 

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You can also email our offices on Reveshni Douglas at [email protected] Quinton Boucher at [email protected] Bruce Douglas at [email protected] Tersia Gopi at [email protected] Zianne Leibrandt at [email protected]

  AUTHOR
Zianne Leibrandt

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