The South African Police Service (SAPS) working together with other law enforcement agencies in the province is geared up to ensure that all people are and feel safe during the Easter holidays through Operation Paseka (Safer Easter Holidays) that began on 12 April 2019.
It is common knowledge that crime escalates during this period and this requires extra deployment and vigilance by the police to prevent and combat crimes through enhanced visibility including safety on national roads, within residential areas and any other places where people are expected to assemble in large numbers like shopping centres. As in previous years this time, members of SAPS have been deployed in accordance with the Back-to-Basic approach to ensure that, those who travel, visit or stay within the boundaries of the province are safe.
Even though the police have been deployed to ensure a safe and secure environment as well as stabilizing identified crime hot-spot areas, an urgent request is made to all our communities to work together with the police, including taking preventative measures to safeguard themselves and their properties as together we will reduce crime.
Members of the community are urged to take heed and apply the following safety hints.
Safety hints to prevent contact crimes:
Excessive consumption of alcohol is the major cause of contact crimes such as common assault, assault with the intent to do Grievous Bodily Harm (GBH), rape, robbery and murder.
- Do not carry too much money when going to drinking places.
- Do not carry weapons when you attend social gatherings.
- Do not share a drink with someone you do not know.
- Avoid confrontation when under the influence of alcohol.
- Do not leave your drink unattended.
Safety tips at shopping centres and malls:
- Do not ask for help from strangers at ATMs.
- Do not display money in public.
- Do not ask for directions from strangers; instead, ask from law enforcement agents/security officials.
- Do not buy anything from a salesman at the door, outside the shop.
- Keep your personal belongings such as your cellular phone, handbag and wallet safe.
- Always observe your surroundings, be at the right place at the right time
Tips to prevent Trio Crimes: Hijackings, House robberies and Business Robberies:
- Avoid being alone in a vehicle when travelling at night.
- Do not stop around hijacking spots or at any secluded area.
- Always be alert when driving. If you suspect that you are being followed by a suspicious vehicle, drive to the nearest police station or call the SAPS emergency number 10111(Telkom) /112 (cellular phone).
- Do not pick up hitchhikers, particularly when you drive alone.
- Avoid distractions such as being on your phone, drinking and driving.
- Increase caution at intersections-always keep a look out for people loitering around your car or for any sudden activity around your car.
- Always be on the lookout for suspicious persons and vehicles.
- Enhance security through fitting access doors with security gates and install burglar bars on windows.
- Request neighbours to keep an eye when you go away for an extended period.
- Do not open gates and doors for strangers.
- Verify the details of anyone before you employ them and check the authenticity of a contractor before you allow access to the premises.
- Do not keep too much money in the business premises.
- Be on the lookout for suspicious customers.
- Do not keep the shop open till late.
- Avoid being alone, especially at night.
- Business owners must not open for anyone after the business has closed.
Safety hints for victims:
- Comply, remain calm and do not argue with crime perpetrators.
- Do not make sudden gestures.
- Avoid eye contact but try to remember how the perpetrator looks like by identifying and remembering special features.
- Try to get away safely from the area as quickly as possible.
- Do not be a hero, your life is worth more than anything.
The community is urged to respect the rule of law, including those who will be at resorts or any overcrowded places, which sometimes contribute to the escalation of crime due to the over-indulgence of liquor.