Monday, December 31, 2012

January Tips: Holiday Security

From the period of Christmas to the New Year season, there is typically tremendous pressure on everyone to buy gifts and do a lot of shopping. This therefore requires people to spend extra money for these gifts and entertainment. Criminals will use this opportunity to take advantage of unsuspecting people.

Crime rate is usually on the increase with the festive season. It is therefore, necessary to remind us of certain risks associated with the season and how these could be reduced or prevented. 

The following security tips will help protect you from being a victim of crime.

While shopping:
  • Your safety and those of your family members should be a priority. If a criminal attacks you for your purse or packages, give him your belongings. Your life is more important!
  • Always choose a bank with an Automated Teller Machine (ATM) located in a highly visible, well-lit area. If you notice anyone suspiciously approaching, cancel your transaction and leave.
  • Avoid carrying large amounts of cash. Don’t advertise large rolls of money in public. You don’t know who may be watching.
  • Though you may be in a hurry and have things on your mind, stay alert to your surroundings.
  • For women - keep your purse tucked close to your body at all times. Don’t let it dangle from your shoulder as this may be a perfect setup for a purse-snatcher.
  • For men – carry wallets in front pocket rather than back pocket or jacket. Thieves are looking for easy targets as they move through the crowded areas.
  • Don’t be talking on your cell phone as you leave the shop walking to your car. You need to pay close attention to your surroundings and anyone who looks suspicious.
  • Approach your car with car keys in hand and survey the exterior and interior of your vehicle before entering. Place your packages in the trunk all the while aware of anyone who may be nearby or approaching you.
  • Don’t get into your car if you are being followed or are suspicious of anyone standing near your car. If so, return to the mall or store or where there are other people. Ask for store security assistance.
  • If shopping at night, try to go with another person. If you need to go shopping alone and leave the shopping Centre late at night, ask a security officer to accompany you to your car.

When Driving:
  •        Keep vehicle doors locked and windows up. If it's hot and you don't have air-conditioning, wind your windows down only slightly (e.g. 2") and be alert for the need to roll them up quickly.
  •       Never keep purses, wallets, cameras or other valuables on the seat next to you. Put them under the seat, in the glove compartment, or trunk out of view.
  •       Whenever possible, drive in the centre lane to make it harder for would-be carjackers to approach the vehicle.
  •        Leave enough space between you and the vehicle in front of you so if you can pull away forward if anyone threatens you.
  •       Never roll down your window to talk to anyone who approaches your vehicle when you are stopped in traffic. Wave them off. If they continue to approach, drive away.  
  •       If you feel there is anything suspicious about an accident, such as a deliberate bumping from behind, leave immediately. Drive to the nearest public place where there are people and a telephone, or to a police station.
  •       Keep your vehicle in good repair and full of fuel so breakdown will be minimized.
  •       If someone tries to pull you over, and you don't believe the person is a police officer, proceed to a well-populated and well-lit area. If it is a police officer, explain your actions politely.
  •        Always observe your rear view / side mirrors to determine if you are being followed and if being followed drive on to safe spot and not your home.
  •       Take note or write down important details such as plate numbers, body markings, color, and the model of the taxi, when riding a taxi especially at night.

These tips can actually be applied at any time of the year to ensure the safety and security of people and assets.
Have a prosperous and safe new year!

En-pact Solutions Limited, 2012
Twitter: @OReese2

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