While you are getting ready to take a sho’t left out of Bloemfontein, local security providers are gearing up to watch over our neighbourhoods this holiday season, but they need your help to keep danger away from your doorstep.
Pieter du Plessis from VR SEC and VR MED jokingly said that as much as he is jealous that people will be leaving the city to enjoy some downtime, he acknowledges that this is the nature of the job.
“Enjoy the break, you worked hard for it but don’t be so relaxed that you don’t see what is happening around you. TEST your alarm – if it does not work no one will know, it is your responsibility to make sure it works. Enjoy but be safe,” he said.
He added that criminal activity (housebreakings, robberies) during the holiday season are mostly crimes of opportunity. “By that I mean you make it easy (create the opportunity) by not checking your alarm, or posting everywhere about the great time you are having at the coast. They mostly target dark places, with no lights and no dogs or when they know that no one is home,” he explained.
His advice is that you should inform your response company that you will be going away. “Get someone to stay in or come and put on the lights in and around the house to make it seem like someone is home. Don’t place your coming and goings on social media as it tells everyone you are away and it is open season at your house.”
Crime does not only take place at your home during this time. It can happen anywhere. When attending events, Du Plessis encourages locals to be aware of their surroundings because they might notice when something or someone is out of place.
“What I normally do is split the money – don’t let one person carry all the IDs, money, bank cards etc. If you have a place to keep it safe and not have everything with you it helps as well, as most of the banks offer virtual cards on your phone. Use that and leave the credit cards at the place you stay at, where most of them have safes installed. At least if something happens, you’ll have a backup,” he concluded.