Amanzimtoti residents have been warned to be vigilant following a spike in housebreakings in recent weeks.
Blue Security, who works closely with the local Community Crime Prevention Organisation (CCPO) as a partner security company in the area, recently analysed Amanzimtoti crime trends and found that there was a high number of housebreaking and trespassing incidents over the past three months.
Blue Security operations director, Brian Jackson highlighted some of the recent Amanzimtoti crime trends and offered residents a few tips to stay safe and outsmart the criminals who are targeting the area.
“Our research shows that homes near the beach and along green belts, where there are parks and bushes, are often the most vulnerable because of the easy escape routes. The research also indicates that most of the housebreaking incidents analysed took place on sunny days when residents may have been out, enjoying a day on the beach or doing sports with their families, leaving their homes unoccupied.”
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According to the research, which covered a 10km area from Isipingo to Winklespruit, there were 231 crimes and incidents reported to its control centre. There were 69 housebreaking incidents, 58 trespassing incidents, 13 business burglaries, 13 motor vehicle thefts, 16 attempted housebreakings, three business armed robberies, four attempted business armed robberies, one home invasion, as well as many incidents of theft, vandalism, assault and theft out of motor vehicles.
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Central Amanzimtoti and immediate surroundings recorded 98 incidents, including 34 residential housebreakings, 27 trespassing incidents, 11 motor vehicle thefts, eight attempted residential housebreakings and one business armed robbery.
Safety tips to create a safer home
Jackson offered residents the following tips to stay safe and to ensure their properties are adequately protected against intruders, as a home is really only as secure as its weakest entry point.
- If you haven’t already converted your home alarm system into a smart home security system, consider the benefits of being able to monitor and control your alarm system remotely at the touch of a button on your cellphone. The smart home system makes it possible to control your home’s alarm system, open and close gates, view your CCTV security cameras and adjust your home’s geyser, air-conditioning and other systems while you are away.
- Cut back any overgrown bushes and trees near your windows and doors, and near your driveway gate, to eliminate any hiding places where criminals can lie in wait to ambush you.
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- Be sure to regularly check your perimeter fence for any broken or rusted sections that need to be repaired and replaced.
- Store handbags, cellphones, tablets and other valuables safely out of sight and away from doors and windows where opportunistic intruders can’t ‘fish’ them out.
- Avoid leaving garden implements like spades, picks, brush cutters and ladders lying around in the garden where they can be stolen or picked up by intruders and used as housebreaking implements or weapons.
- Store pool nets and brushes out of sight as intruders can use these tools to ‘fish’ valuables through any open windows.
- Cut any overgrown bush away from your electric fence to prevent false alarms, which can make you and your neighbours complacent about crime and result in lower levels of vigilance should a real incident take place.
- Always pull up parallel to the verge of your property and wait for the gate to open completely before turning into your driveway. This will minimise the risk of hijackers being able to block you in the driveway, enabling you to drive off quickly if any suspicious individuals or vehicles approach you.
- Know your neighbours and work together on local neighbourhood watches and WhatsApp groups to report any suspicious activities in the neighbourhood.
- Ensure that help, in an emergency, is just the flick of a button away with a security mobile app when you are out at the beach, taking a jog or running errands. Using GPS capability the app pinpoints your exact location and at the press of a button the panic app connects to your security provider’s centre staff, who will establish the nature of the emergency and dispatch an armed response officer or an ambulance to the scene.
- It may sound obvious but it is important to keep security gates and doors locked, especially at night when you are at home relaxing. A high number of home invasions are reported where criminals simply walk into the home through an unlocked, open door.
- Lastly, it’s important to regularly check and test your home alarm system to see if your property has any existing weak points and whether the system requires any maintenance or repairs. Contact your security company and advise them that you are doing a scheduled test of your alarm to avoid an armed response vehicle being sent out unnecessarily. Be sure to immediately attend to any repairs that need to be done to the system.
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