Don't be a victim

Take responsibility for your security

  • by Spotong
  • Apr 16, 2017
  • 150

For 32-year old Aaron*, it’s a day he says he will never forget. He and his friends were relaxing around the television set, when four men dressed in police uniforms and brandishing firearms stormed in through the open front door and started yelling for Aaron and his friends to lie down on the floor.

It took a few moments of breathless confusion and incomprehension for Aaron to realise what was happening: their home had been invaded, they were being robbed, and these weren’t men of the law after all but, in fact, the complete opposite.

This happened some 14 years ago, when Aaron was still attending high school in Mamelodi. The intruders absconded with a number of valuables – mostly easy-to-carry items such as wallets and watches – and, while no one was hurt in the incident, the trauma of that fateful afternoon has stayed with Aaron to this very day.

For 32-year old Aaron*, it’s a day he says he will never forget. He and his friends were relaxing around the television set, when four men dressed in police uniforms and brandishing firearms stormed in through

And Aaron’s case is far from unique.

According to the findings of the latest Victims of Crime Survey conducted by Statistics South Africa, “South African households increasingly feel that the levels of violent and property crimes are increasing and this makes it unsafe to walk in parks or even allow their children to play freely in their neighbourhoods.” The report goes on to say that “crime instills fear amongst households and it may hinder their ability to engage in their day-to-day activities.”

The latest national crime statistics also paint a bleak picture, reporting that more than 20 000 residential robberies and in the vicinity of 25 000 burglaries were committed during the year under review.

According to Siphiwe Thabethe, a Soweto-based installer of access control and security equipment, one’s entrance gate is usually the first point of entry for robbers and burglars, and thus also the first security point.

Siphiwe, who frequently embarks on campaigns to educate township-dwellers about how they can secure themselves and their homes, stresses the importance of having a reliable remote gate installed at home. A significant number of attacks, says Siphiwe, are perpetrated in residential driveways as the hapless victim is getting out of his or her car in order to manually open the gate. With a remote gate, one can remain in the relative safety of one’s vehicle until the gate has opened all the way, and it can be electronically set to close automatically, further increasing security.

With the number of crimes targeting homes on the rise, a remote gate is no longer a luxury item, but a necessity, and the increased demand means that it is more affordable than ever, with a number of township-based installers offering supremely cost-effective installation packages.

Centurion Systems is a leading South African manufacturer of remote gates and other access control solutions with 30 years’ experience securing homes and businesses with their cutting edge products, a number of which have won awards.

As a company specialising in security, CENTURION provides the following tips for staying safe at home:

  • ·        Keep doors and windows securely locked. Even if you are home, at least keep a security gate locked
  • ·        Invest in a perimeter alarm. Inexpensive kits can be purchased from electronics stores and installed yourself
  • ·        If someone knocks on your door claiming to be a meter reader or policeman, always ask for identification and phone the person’s supposed employer to confirm his or her identity
  • ·        Keep your driveway well-lit and free of shrubbery that can be used by criminals as a hiding place
  • ·        Keep your curtains drawn and lights in street-facing rooms switched off at night
  • ·        Keep emergency contacts such as the flying squad’s number on speed dial
  • ·        Always be vigilant and aware of your surroundings, and report suspicious activity immediately
  • ·        Start or join a WhatsApp group dedicated to community safety. You’d be surprised at how effective this is!

With the holidays just around the corner, CENTURION has also provided a number of tips for securing your home or business if you are planning on going away during the Festive Season:

  • ·        If you plan on being away from home for an extended period of time, have a neighbour collect your mail
  • ·        Intercom systems are available that ring through to your cellphone, enabling you to answer your intercom from anywhere and give the appearance that you are home
  • ·        If you have access to cellphone banking, make use of this service rather than carrying large sums of cash with you
  • ·        Leave a TV or radio on to give the impression that you are in residence
  • ·        Have a friend or neighbour switch on or two lights in the evenings. This may also dupe would-be intruders into thinking that someone is home
  • ·        Ensure that your gifts and valuables are not visible from the street
  • ·        Reinforce doors and windows that can be used to gain entry
  • ·        Don’t advertise your holiday plans online

For more information, contact Centurion Systems on 011 699 2510 or Siphiwe Thabete from JS Security on 082 834 7459.

*not his real name