E2 Safer Festive Season: Hijackings
POSTED ON: December 12, 2023 IN by Admin
Vehicle hijackings have skyrocketed in South Africa, with a car being is stolen every 22 minutes.
The 2023/2024 second quarter SAPS Crime Statistics showed that between July and September 2023, 6009 hijackings had been reported in South Africa, with hatchbacks, sedans and coupes the most targeted vehicles, followed by bakkies and panel vans.
During the second quarter of 2023 the provinces most affected by hijackings were KwaZulu- Natal, Gauteng and the Western Cape.
According to BLSA National Project Manager Roelof Viljoen, hijackers have become more brazen and violent. There have been a number of reports where victims have been kidnapped by hijackers for a few hours until they have disabled the tracking device, and in some cases even emptied out the victim’s bank accounts.
More people are prone to drop their guard as they enjoy the festivities, but getting lost in the moment heightens the risks falling prey to hijackers. Here are a few hijacking prevention tips for the festive season:
- Be alert at all times while driving.
- When stopping at traffic lights or stop signs, ensure there is enough space between you and the vehicle in front of you to be able to get away.
- Try to not keep your window open when stuck in traffic.
- Sitting in a vehicle while it is parked on the pavement increases your chances of getting hijacked. Be cautious.
- If you feel that a car might be following you, rather change routes and drive to your nearest police station.
- Most hijackings occur around your home so always be extra cautious when approaching your place of residence.
- If you have an electric gate, wait for it to open while you are still in the road before pulling into your driveway – this makes it difficult for would-be hijackers to box you in and enables you to pull away should the need arise.
- If you are opening a manual gate, leave the keys in the ignition and the engine running while doing so unless there are children in the car, in which case turn off the ignition and keep the keys with you. The keys can be used as a negotiating tool to get the children out of a hijacked vehicle to safety.
- When stopped by law enforcement, do so immediately.
- If you are stopped by a law enforcement vehicle but you are sceptical about their legitimacy, slow down and indicate to the driver that you acknowledge him, and drive to the closest police station.
Should you or a loved one get hijacked remember to:
- Stay calm.
- Do not make direct eye contact.
- Do everything the perpetrators tell you to do.
- Do not resist, threaten, or provoke the hijackers.
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