Safety tips for the holidays

Keith Blake, Ottery

We are now once again in that period where the festive season begins and we are all looking forward to a safe and secure time.

We do not want to become a victim or a statistic so let me, a retired police officer, in plain language, try to help you become a crime preventer.

For yourself:

* Every morning pray that God will protect you, your family and your community.

* Make sure that all your actions are legal and that you will do everything in your power to become aware of your surroundings and ensure your and your family’s safety and security.

* Your motto must be to look after number one; that is you and your loved ones.

For children:

* Know at all times where your children are.

* Every morning brief them on not to talk to strangers and other instructions you want to tell them to do or not to do.

* Do not send your children on errands or to the shop, go yourself.

For your home:

* Make sure everything is locked and secured.

* Tell a trustworthy and reliable neighbour of your comings and goings.

For your car

* Ensure your car is roadworthy.

* Drive according to the laws and regulations of the Road Traffic Act and consider other road users.

* Do not speed as it kills. Do not drink alcohol or use drugs and drive.

At the ATM

* Do not ask anyone for help at any ATM

* When drawing large sums of money at a bank, take family and friends along and divide the money between them.

* Do not use any ATM if you are in a lonely area or there are suspicious people hanging around.

At beaches:

* Check the sea, tides and wind and
that there are other beach goers on the shore. Never do any beach activities if you are alone, such as fishing.

* Never drink alcohol or be under the influence of a drug while you swim. Do not take liquor to the beach as law enforcement will confiscate it.

* Ensure you have a long rope with a tube or a miniature lifebuoy just in case you have to become a life saver.

In your community:

* Be a good neighbour , watch out for each other. Do not look away if crimes are being committed against women and children.

* If there are gunshots in a robbery or gang-related issue, shout that everyone must val plat as die skote klap!

* Support your local police, law enforcement and the neighbourhood watches as they are your guardians in the fight against crime.

* Report all suspicious people or activities to each other and the law enforcement agencies. Know all the emergency contact numbers.

* As a community, protect the ambulance services when they are called to your area as you or your family could be the one they are coming to assist in a medical emergency.

* Keep a safety watch on the schools in your area to avoid theft and vandalism.

Emergency contact details:

Make sure you have on your cellphone or on a notice board in your home or car, all the numbers for the emergency services.