Prevent crime over the holiday season PDF Print E-mail
News - Aktueel
Wednesday, 19 December 2012 06:50
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“We need to be more pro-active in our way of thinking and in our daily actions.”

So said Karen Yssel from the Cullinan Community Policing Forum and rural safety network. She shares a few tips on preventing home invasions and keeping your family and home safe.

Fences and gates
It is better, for visibility reasons, to have a fence around the house rather than a high wall. Razor wire, barbed wire, empty tins or bells can be attached to the fence to increase the early-warning capability. Remember that gates must be kept locked.

Install security gates with sturdy locks at each outer door and burglar-proofing at each window. Keep security gates locked at all times.

A security gate inside the house, which divides the sleeping quarters from the rest of the house, could prove vital when intruders have entered your house. The emergency communication system should preferably be installed in this safe area.

Firearms must at all times be readily accessible and make sure that the handler is qualified to use the weapon.

A siren or alarm on the roof with a few switches in the house can be heard over a long distance. Test these devices regularly.

Guard dogs and geese should be locked in close to the house so that strangers cannot get to them easily. Small dogs that sleep inside the house make an excellent warning system.


Karen Yssel

Warning signs
The unexplainable death of a watchdog should be your most important early warning sign.
Look out for deviations from the norm in employees’ behaviour, such as abnormally high consumption or purchase of food. The theft of food, fuel, livestock and game is always a warning sign.

Beware of strangers strolling about the area and of strange vehicles making use of farm roads. Be on the lookout for evidence of the presence of intruders, such as empty bottles or tins, cartridge cases, paper remnants, torn off buttons or pieces of clothing, foot or shoe prints, burnt-out fires at apparent camp sites, remnants of meals, cigarette butts, empty boxes and excrement.

Look out for strange markings around your property, such as plastic bags tied to fences, rocks stacked in piles or shapes, strategically placed objects ranging from cold drink cans to sticks. These could be signs left by criminals planning to target your property.

Watch strangers who visit your premises for apparently good reasons and then try to make unobtrusive observations.

Strangers entering the farm or visiting workers should first get your permission to do so. Liaise with your local SAPS or agricultural union station on what the law allows you to do and how you must apply this.

Workers
Keep copies of all workers’ ID documents. Take photographs and fingerprints of all employees. Even if these are not used, they are a good deterrent.

Do not employ undocumented persons: if you don’t know who they are the chances of finding them after an incident are almost zero. Beware of fake documentation, especially from immigrants; look out for spelling errors and signs of photo copies.

Encourage all workers to be alert on security matters and to report all crime. Remunerate them for useful hints and information.

Consider the organising of workers in a type of farm watch system and, with the co-operation of the security forces, provide them with relevant training.


Install a security gate to divide the sleeping quarters from the rest of the house

Good habits
Video record the content of your home to remember what is missing after a burglary.

If you install or have CCTV, ensure that the video quality is good enough to recognize facial features captured during a crime. In many cases video evidence is not of a quality that can be used to identify a suspect or be used in court.

All implements which could be used as weapons should be kept locked away when not in use.

Keep tight control over your keys to prevent duplication. Do not leave keys in a hidden place for domestic staff or children. Robbers often stake out a house and will find out about these hiding places.
If you buy luxury goods, cut up the boxes and dispose of them in tied black bags – a branded box is a telltale sign of what thieves could find in your house.

Always keep a torch at hand during the night. Don’t stand in front of windows when opening and closing curtains. Move with the curtain so as not to present yourself as a target.

Attacks
Make as much noise as possible when attacked. It is not recommended that you resist an attacker unless it will enable you to escape at that moment. Should you instinctively resist, do not hold back. You must injure your attacker.

If it is not possible to resist, concentrate on identification marks. Take note of the attacker’s age, height, hair colour, eyes, scars, other obvious physical features, clothing, speech and patterns of behaviour.

Maintain evidence after a crime. Call SAPS for fingerprinting and footprint experts if you know that there is evidence. Insist if you are ignored. Evidence gathered may not catch the criminal, but can be used once the criminal has been caught.

 

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