Safety tips for Senior citizens and domestic workers

The Edenvale SAPS has warned that elderly residents and domestic workers are soft targets for criminals.

In a number of house robberies in Edenvale, senior citizen and domestic workers were tied up while robbers ransacked homes.

The Edenvale SAPS has released a number of safety tips for senior citizens and domestic workers.

Crime prevention tips

Senior citizens and domestic workers at home:

  •  Never open your door for strangers, rather install and use a peephole.
  •  Always make sure that your doors and windows are locked and ensure that your garage is not left unlocked.
  •  Try to vary your daily routine.
  •  Make use of a neighbourhood watch system to keep an eye on your neighbourhood. A concerned neighbour is often the best protection against crime.
  •  Avoid leaving notes on your door when leaving your house.
  •  Leave lights on when going out at night or use a timer to turn lights on and off when you are away for an extended period.
  •  Notify neighbours and your security provider when going away on a trip.
  •  Be wary of unsolicited offers to make repairs to your home. Deal only with reputable businesses.
  •  Do not hesitate to report crime or suspicious activities to the SAPS or your security provider.
  •  Ask for proper identification from delivery persons or strangers. Do not be afraid of asking, if they are legitimate they will not mind.
  •  Never let a stranger into your home.
  •  Never give out information over the phone indicating you are alone or that you will not be home at a certain time.
  •  If you arrive at home and suspect a stranger may be inside, do not go in. Rather leave quietly and call the SAPS or your security provider to investigate.

Safety when taking a walk:

  •  If you are attacked on the street, make as much noise as possible by calling for help or blowing a whistle. Do not pursue your attacker. Call the SAPS or your security provider to report the crime as soon as possible.
  •  Avoid walking alone at night. Try to have a friend accompany you in high-risk areas, even during the daytime.
  •  Avoid carrying weapons, they may be used against you.
  •  Always plan your route and stay alert to your surroundings.
  •  Have your key ready when approaching your front door.
  •  Do not carry large, bulky shoulder bags, carry only what you need.

While out shopping:

  •  Always carry your purse very close to you.
  •  Never leave your purse in a shopping cart and never leave your purse unattended.
  •  Do not carry more money than is necessary.
  •  Avoid displaying large sums of money.

Safety in your car:

  •  Always keep your car doors locked, whether you are in or out of your car and try to keep your petrol tank full and your car’s engine maintained to avoid breakdowns.
  •  If your car breaks down, pull over, open the bonnet and wait inside your car for help. Avoid getting out of the car and making yourself a target before the police arrive.
  •  At stop signs and traffic lights, keep the car in gear.
  •  Travel in well-lit and busy streets and plan your route.
  •  Do not leave your purse on the seat beside you, rather put it in the boot.
  •  Never leave valuables or packages in your car. If interesting packages are out of sight, a thief will be less tempted to break in and steal them.
  •  Never pick up hitchhikers.

When banking or dealing with money:

  •  Never withdraw money from your bank account for anyone except yourself. Be wary of con artists and get-rich-quick schemes that sound too good to be true.
  •  When someone approaches you with a get-rich-quick-scheme involving some or all of your savings, it is their get-rich-quick-scheme. If it is a legitimate investment, the opportunity to contribute your funds will still be there tomorrow – after you have had time to consider it.
  •  Always remember that you can visit the police station to ask for advice if you think you are being conned.
  •  If you have been swindled or conned, report the crime to the SAPS. Con-artists count on their victim’s reluctance to admit they have been duped, but if you delay, you help them get away.
  •  Always be alert when withdrawing money from an ATM.
  •  Never accept assistance from anyone at an ATM.
  •  Banks will never ask you to verify your banking details over the phone, nor will they send you e-mails to confirm your details.
  •  If you are asked to verify your details, rather visit your bank and do so in person.

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