Crime Prevention

  • Know all emergency numbers
  • Keep your cellphone in the bedroom
  • Never leave your keys in a gate or lock
  • Make provision for good outside lighting

Remember; outside lights that are on during the day draw the attention of thieves

  • Mail left in the gate is also a sign that nobody is home. Get a friend or neighbour to keep a regular eye on your property and to remove mail and newspapers
  • Use lighting to your advantage. Lights that are on inside while it is dark outside put you at a disadvantage. Lights that are on outside when its dark inside will allow you to observe what is going on without being seen yourself
  • Never leave workmen unattended in your home
  • Conduct thorough background checks before employing anyone (permanent or casual workers)
  • Be careful what is discussed in front of staff
  • Don’t leave your garage, front or back door open or partially open – it serves as an invitation to burglars
  • Never open the door automatically whenever the bell rings or if someone knocks. Make sure the person wanting to enter is expected. Unsuspecting domestic workers, garden staff and children are often approached by robbers pretending to be telephone repairman, electricians, plumbers, TV license inspectors or repairman, municipal inspectors and many other professions. 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 unsuspecting victims to open the gate or door. Persons who are at home during the day should be told of these scams. Emphasise the need for security to your domestic worker, so ensuring his/her own safety as well.
  • 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 with the police star on the badge, as well as epaulettes indicating the rank. Members in plain clothes and members in uniform may be questioned to identify themselves with their identification cards (known as certificates in the SAPS.)
  • A watchdog is a good early warning system. Keep it visible as a deterrent but beyond the reach of strangers. The unexplained death of a watchdog is a warning sign of a possible burglary. Poisons used to kill or incapacitate dogs are also very poisonous to humans and must be handles with extreme caution, and only by experts
  • Dogs that are outside and can bark at anything that walks by are less effective as “alarm” systems than dogs kept closer to you or inside the house that only bark when someone / something is a direct threat to you.
  • If your house alarm goes off or you hear strange noises or your dogs bark switch on the outside lights, and investigate with caution. Don’t go outside before you are sure that it is safe. If you have a ‘panic button’, keep it close at hand and use it if you see anyone on your property that does not belong there. Don’t wait; you can always call to cancel the response.
  • Always check the identity of strangers who visit for business purposes, to do deliveries or repairs. Ensure that you stay out of their reach to prevent being grabbed through a closed gate.
  • Report suspicious characters who could pose a threat to the police. When employing someone request their identity document and make a copy for safekeeping. Check their previous employment references and do security clearances at the police. Expect any contractors that you make use of, for example building contractors, to do the same with their employees
  • Install security gates at outside doors and keep them locked. If possible, fix a door viewer and latch chain.
  • When approaching your hose entrance by foot or by car 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.
  • Keep your entrance clear of plants or obstacles that can provide a hiding place for would-be robbers that could surprise you when you enter or leave
  • Always keep your keys safe to prevent them from being duplicated. Never leave your house keys under a doormat or in a pot plant. Once you have locked your door from the inside, remove the key from the keyhole and place it in a safe place, where it cannot be reached from a window
  • Know your neighbours and build a relationship of mutual trust and support. When going away on holiday inform them, or make arrangements for your house to be watched and usual activity to be noticed
  • Limit access to personal information, your movements and what is inside your house
  • It is always best to arrange with persons living in the same street as you to be ready at all times to come to the rescue of one another if in danger or if you suspect that there is any kind of criminal activity going on. Exchange phone numbers or signaling methods when you find yourself in distress. Your strength always lies in how many people are able to notice that something is wrong and support you in an emergency. However, be careful not to expose members of the public to danger. Help them by informing the SAPS or security company, making a noise and switching on lights, but not by trying to intervene in a situation yourself.
  • Keep cash and valuables in banks or safes
  • Store your firearms in a safe and do not let anyone, including household employees and children, know that you have firearms in the house. A safe out of sight in a cupboard is a good choice
  • Be aware of persons who may visit your house because it is up for sale or who wish to sell you products they themselves have for sale, especially if they are not alone

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