IN Statistics South Africa’s recently published annual victims of crime survey (VOCS), just over 128 000 households experienced robberies where the criminals came into contact with the residents during the period under review (April 2016 to March 2017).
While this number has been on a downward trend since 2013 with a 0.8% decrease from the previous year, the number of incidents is still high.
Approximately 7% of households in South Africa were victims of crime in 2016/17, compared to about 9% of households in 2015/16.
Ivan Govender, district manager (KwaZulu-Natal) for Fidelity ADT says crime is at an unacceptable level and it is important to be prepared. “The first thing we encourage residents to do is to stay calm and try to think rationally in the situation. A home invasion is a very frightening situation especially when you have to worry about other family members,” says Govender.
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“Unless you feel you are facing an imminent life-and-death situation, don’t fight back. As hard as it may be, accept your situation and give your assailants time to take any material possessions they want. Speak only if spoken to and then try to keep your answers short and to the point. Be conscious not to stare at the assailants but try nevertheless to get a good look at them and memorise their physical details and clothing. Listen for any names or other details that might help identify them later,” he says.
Generally speaking, he says the first few minutes of a home invasion are the most dangerous.
“Try to remain calm and quiet. If you are not threatening, the assailants can concentrate on their goals and leave.”
He strongly advises that residents speak to their families and staff about possible scenarios so they can be aware of what to do should they ever find themselves confronted with a home invasion.
“Also remember that a monitored home alarm system acts as a deterrent to most criminals and can help prevent a home invasion altogether. Casual guarding is also another option if you are having an event. Although no one wants to have to think about security when they are having fun, the reality exists that criminals are aware that functions and parties generally mean easy pickings and easy targets,” he concludes.
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