Salam Aleykum, the festive season is usually characterized by increased criminal activities. Please be guided by the following tips:
1. Personal Security
* Keep a low profile, blend in and be alert to developments in your environment.
* Avoid known crime-prone areas and black spots.
* Avoid routine pattern of movements and late night outings. The more predictable your movements and schedules are, to and from places of leisure, entertainment, worship, shopping, schooling, the easier it is for a kidnapper to plan and execute your abduction.
* Avoid undue exposure, inclusive of your family members.
* Save emergency numbers on your phone with speed dial for easy call in an emergency.
* Regularly review your personal security, the security around your home, and your spouse’s business premises.
2. Financial Transactions
* Keep all information concerning financial transactions strictly confidential – do not discuss in the open.
* Avoid carrying large sums of cash; do not carry bags or packages that may attract criminals.
* Avoid physical transactions that require large sums of cash – use cheques and electronic money transfers.
* Use ATMs only in safe and well lit places and not late at night.
3. Travel Security
* Always pre-plan your journey and ensure the vehicle is in good working condition.
* Discuss travel plans only with immediate family members.
* Avoid night driving, make less use of high value cars that can easily mark you out as a potential target of criminals.
* Stick to major routes and avoid lonely routes with bad roads and poor visibility.
* If you suspect a vehicle trailing you on the road, drive to the nearest Police station or public place where help is near.
* Do not give ride to strangers, including persons dressed in uniforms, as they may be criminals in disguise.
* Do not hitch-hike vehicles driven by strangers.
* Be aware of techniques used by criminals to force unsuspecting victims to stop.
* Watch out for strange persons inside a car or hanging around your gate at your residence.
* Do not sit inside a parked car on a less busy road.
* Do not park your car in unlit areas.
Note: It is established that motorists are most vulnerable when:
* Waiting for the gate to be opened for them at residences.
* Driving through a terribly bad spot that requires slowing down completely with little chance of escape or when parked on a spot along a less busy road without alighting from the car.
4. Social Outings
* Always let close family members know of your movements.
* Avoid late outings unless it is absolutely necessary, even then, ensure you are accompanied.
* Always take your mobile phone with you, in the vent you need it to make emergency calls
* Be aware of the risk posed by large gatherings, as they might constitute attractive targets for violent criminals and terrorists.
* Counsel your children never to leave home without telling you, and to maintain communication with a parent or guardian.
Note: In the likely event that you are attacked, please remember the following:
* The general rule is “NEVER” attempt to run.
* Do not resist or panic, just stay calm and cooperate
* Avoid eye-to-eye contact with the assailants, but respond to instructions and questions calmly.
* Do not make sudden movements without first seeking permission – e.g. unfastening your seat belt as they may misconstrue your intention.
* Implore them not to use their weapon as you would cooperate fully
* Focus your energy on survival, maintaining self-respect and dignity.
* Inform them if you have any medical condition
* Request to speak with your relatives, close associates, and give them the facts unemotionally
* Do not attempt to call the Police when it is not safe to do so
Finally, please review the security tips and share with members of your household and practice security stand downs with them.
Have a safe, secure season. Salam Aleykum.