SAPS Corporate Communication Newcastle offers the following advice to community members to prevent street robberies.
v When going out, try to stay in a group, there is safety in numbers. Walk with others at night, including to and from your car, whenever possible. Avoid shortcuts and deserted areas.
v Try to park in well-lit areas and be cautious when strangers approach you.
v Never offer a ride to someone you do not know or who you just met. Also do not go with, or accept rides from strangers.
v Offenders tend to look for victims who seem unaware of their immediate surroundings. Pedestrians who are using their cellphones, or are wearing headphones might appear less alert than other people. Keep cellphone calls in public places as brief as possible and put cellphones away after use. Do not walk and text at the same time, you will be less aware of what is happening around you.
v If being followed, cross the street and go directly to the nearest well-lit populated area.
v Do not get distracted by people who want to sell items or services to you on the streets. They are often the front of opportunistic thieves.· Ensure that your vehicle is locked before you leave the car. Test the doors before you leave the car. Never allow anyone to distract you when you enter your car.
v Items that are mostly stolen are cellphones, purses, handbags, laptops and cash. Try to keep your valuables out of sight and avoid carrying large amount of cash.
v Walk on the pavement, facing oncoming traffic. Robbers sometimes are operating from vehicles. They stop next to their victim, rob them and drive off.
v Limit alcohol intake because alcohol impairs judgement and robbers will see you as an easy target.
v Phone the police immediately, the sooner the police are able to respond, the better the chances that the robber(s) will be arrested.
v Remember your safety is more important than any possession.
SAPS CRIME STOP : 08600 10111