Don’t become another crime stat

HIJACKING is seen as one of the most recurring crimes in Pinetown CBD. A lot of motorists have been victims of hijacking in this area while others have witnessed this sort of crime taking place in Pinetown.

The Pinetown Fever published an article on Tuesday, July 10, regarding the high rate of crime in the Pinetown CBD. Pinetown Fever reporter Nosipho Mkhize has since learned that most of this crime can be linked to incidents of hijacking.

A Pinetown motorist, who wished to remain anonymous, said she is scared to drive alone in Pinetown because motorists are frequently targeted by criminals in the area.

“As a female, I am an easy target. I am scared to even stop at the robots because most hijackings occur when one has stopped by the robots. I have witnessed people being hijacked and robbed and it is traumatic.

“I wish there was another route to take besides driving through the Pinetown CBD. I always ensure that my windows are closed when I drive through this area,” she said.

Pinetown SAPS communication officer Captain BJ Manqele said there have been a lot of hijacking cases reported, however, police are working tirelessly to ensure that the public is safe at times by implementing police patrols in the area.

CAPTAIN MANQELE ALSO ADVISED THE PUBLIC TO VIGILANT, PROVIDING A FEW VEHICLE SAFETY TIPS TO MOTORISTS

• Always lock the doors of your vehicle and keep the windows closed.

•Do not leave your vehicle unlocked, even if you think you will be away for only a minute.

• Avoid stopping in remote places

• Park your vehicle in places that are well-lit.

• If a stranger wants to talk to you while in your vehicle, do not fully open the window — 5 cm is enough to have a discussion.

• If something seems suspicious, do not talk to strangers, rather just drive away.

• Do not leave your valuable items visible in the car.

• Do not leave your handbag visible in the car.

• Lock your valuables, such as laptops and cameras, in the car boot before departure.

• Limit your trips at night or, if it is unavoidable, don’t go alone.

• Vary the route you travel to work and back, if this is possible.

• If approached by a stranger while in your car, drive off if possible or press your hooter to attract attention.

• If strangers loiter nearby or at your driveway, rather drive past it and wait until they have passed. If they loiter for a long time, report it to your nearest police station.

• Do not open your windows for hawkers along the road and at the robots.

• Carjackers may stage a minor accident so they can approach your car —always be vigilant if you are put into a situation where you may be required to leave your vehicle.

• If your car is bumped from behind, and you do not feel comfortable with the individual(s) involved in the situation, drive to the nearest police station for help.

• If you are hijacked, do not reach for your purse or valuables. Leave everything behind if forced from the car — your life is more valuable than your possessions.

• During a hijacking, do not resist, especially if the thief has a weapon. Give up your vehicle with no questions asked and move away.

• A lift club limits the risk of becoming a victim of crime

• Do not give strangers a lift.

PARKING SAFETY

• Avoid parking your vehicle where there are no security officers guarding other cars.

• Do not leave your firearm in the vehicles glove compartment (cubbyhole) or anywhere in the vehicle when you park the vehicle (this is against the law!).

• Make sure that all the doors and windows are properly locked when you park your car.

• Be aware of people coming to you and informing you that you have a flat tyre, the intention may be to steal items that they see inside the car or to steal your car.

• A gear lock is an affordable and a very effective anti-theft device.

• At night, park in well-lit areas.

• If in doubt about the safety of an area, phone a police station for advice.

• Store luggage/valuables in the cars boot where it is out of sight.

• Never leave your keys in the ignition.

• Remove detachable radios when getting out of the car.

• Try to fit an alarm or anti-theft device in your car.

• Have your keys ready in your hand as you approach your car, this saves time and minimises risk.