SAPS calls for public vigilance during holiday season


With the holiday season already upon us, the South African Police Service (SAPS) would, once again, remind people from wherever in the country they are, to remain vigilant.

The SAPS further calls on people to be aware of their surroundings at all times in order to avoid becoming victims of crime, which, unfortunately, tend to spike during this time of the year.

History has shown the police that during the festive period people tend to be complacent and at times oblivious about their surroundings resulting in them becoming victims of crime.

Having launched the Safer Festive Season Operation, SAPS, together with other law enforcement officers in South Africa, will be working hard and smart throughout the festive period to ensure that people in South Africa are and feel safe.

However, police cannot be in all places at the same time. Therefore, they would like to urge people to take cognisance of some of the safety tips that can help prevent them from becoming a statistic.

Since money is the primary motivation for most of the crime, the SAPS would like to caution people against the dangers of carrying large amount of money on them. Bank cards can and should be used to conduct all sorts of transactions to avoid all money related robberies.

Members of stokvels should rather speak to their banks about the available banking products that may assist them in conducting transactions without having to withdraw all of their deposits, thus risking robberies and, at times, death.

If it becomes necessary that one has to withdraw large amount of money, it is important to be aware of other people in the bank as others may be in the bank with the sole purpose of following and, ultimately, robbing you.

Be aware of who you share information on your intentions to withdraw money with, as the very people may arrange for your robbery later. This also applies to people involved in “stovels”. We have reports in the past of people being robbed of large sums of money. We urge such people to rather use safer and more conventional ways of saving money.

Children: With schools closed children do have enormous amount of time in their hands, and this is where additional vigilance by parents and guardians will come in handy. Try to all times know where your children are and who are they with to avoid cases of missing children and accidents such as drowning in swimming pools, dams and rivers. We have lost children through suffocation in abandoned fridges and cars in the past so we urge parents to be aware of such dangers. Do not take anything for granted.

Rules of the Road: People are urged to obey to the rules of the road. By following the triple “P” approach of being prepared, patient and polite when on the roads will go a long way in preventing road carnage. Drinking and driving and speeding are some of the major causes of fatal accidents. Therefore, this will be considered to be taboo on our roads and transgressors will face the full might of the law.

Another underestimated factor that contributes to the carnage on our roads is “FATIGUE”. Take turns driving with another licensed driver and if alone, make regular stops to avoid fatigue.

Some of the other safety tips that can help save lives are that motorists should plan their travel routes well in advance and make their whereabouts known to family and friends. Also, avoid travelling at night and in remote areas. Carry and emergency kit to assist when you experience a vehicle breakdown or involved in an accident.

There is also a tendency of criminals preying on the people that are careless. With a few simple precautions, you can reduce the risk to yourself and discourage assailants.

At a place of residence make the intrusion of criminals into your premises as difficult as possible by locking doors and gates, burglar-proofing windows and install alarm systems.

Ensure that lights are switched on night and off during the day. Arrange for your post to be picked up regularly to avoid accumulation because this is a sign that people are not home for a long period.

Despite all of these safety tips the SAPS is committed to ensuring that everyone in the country enjoys a peaceful festive season. Our recently-launched Safer Festive Operation is our means to achieve that end. – Statement issued