ON the eve of the Festive Season many thousands of Namibians will be grabbing the opportunity to take a well-deserved break from the year that saw them getting lockdown for months on end and will be travelling across the country to spend the holidays with family and friends.
Statistics have shown that during holidays such as the coming Festive Season, there is a high or significant increase in property crimes.
Criminals take advantage of weakness and will use any opportunity to break-in and use the same opportunities to rob and steal from the unsuspecting public.
As people sometimes leave their homes or property unattended, thieves and housebreakers take advantage of the situation.
The Namibian Police Force hereby again cautions our communities to ensure that their safety and that of their properties are not in peril.
Here are few tips to be mindful of in our day-to-day life and now as we are embarking toward preparations for Festive Season Holidays:
To avoid housebreaking:
• Know your neighbours and build a trusted relationship with them so that you would be in the position to support each other.
• Install security gates or barriers at your outside doors and keep them locked at all times.
• Make provision for adequate outside lighting, but always remember to switch them off in the mornings, because outdoor lights that are on during the day draw the attention of the thieves.
• Never leave your garage door open when you are away since criminals will be able to notice that there is no car in the garage.
• Never leave your house keys in the post box, under the front door carpet or in a pot plant.
• Thick bushes near a window can offer a hiding place to a burglar, so clear the bushes closer to your house.
• Keep your dogs visible because they are a deterrent.
• Always emphasise the need for security with your domestic worker and ensure that he/she is well versed in your security measures. Importantly, if your domestic worker leaves your employ, make sure that you change locks and alarm codes.
• Never employ domestic workers or gardeners off the street without checking references or obtaining identity numbers.
• Sliding glass doors can offer easy access if they are not adequately secured.
• Never leave smaller valuable items such as jewellery, watches, portable radios, clothing, cameras or purses on an inside ledge or within an arm’s length of an open window. Not even if you have burglar-bars.
If you intend to go away this festive season – take these simple steps:
• Don’t publicise your holiday plans.
• Inform your nearest Police Station;
• Inform your neighbours.
• Make sure someone empties your dustbins;
• Lock your garage door with a strong lock.
• Inform a friend or relative to feed your dogs, wet your plants, cut your lawn and perhaps park a car in your driveway.
Road safety tips:
• Take your vehicle for a full check before embarking on your holiday travels.
• Make sure that every aspect of your car is working properly.
• Rest enough before you embark on your journey.
• Understand the rules of the road and be in the possession of a driver’s licence.
• Do not overload your vehicle, be it with goods or passengers.
• When driving, put on a seatbelt and see to it that everyone in the vehicle is wearing theirs.
• Do not drink and drive.
• Avoid the use of mobile phones while driving
• Take breaks every two hours or 200km, when necessary.
• Avoid driving at night.
• In case of an accident call the Police: 10111 or MVA: 0819682
• Inform family and friends once you have reached your destination.
Very important note:
Plan your journey, ensure vehicle roadworthiness and adhere to road traffic rules and regulations.
Theft out of a motor vehicle:
• Place valuable articles in the boot of your ca, even if you are inside the car.
• Do not place your laptop, handbag or cellular phone on the car seats beside you.
• Never leave smaller valuable items such as jewellery, portable radios, clothing, electronics or purses within an arm’s length of an open window.
In the streets:
• Avoid flashy displays of expensive jewellery, cameras and other valuables.
• Do not carry large sums of money around.
• At night, stay away from dark and isolated areas.
• It is better to explore in groups than being alone.
The Namibian Police Force will continue to ensure that law and order, as well as the protection of life and property, are maintained.
There are many different safety measures, and everyone ought to practice what works for them.