EC police give safety tips as festive season approaches

THE Eastern Cape police have warned people that the festive season is not only synonymous with celebratory festivities, but also with crime.

Spokesman Sergeant Majola Nkohli said the abuse of liquor was set to increase as would crimes such as robberies, rape and theft.

“As residents approach the start of the festive season activities, it becomes important for the police to share some important safety hints that would assist residents, so as to have a safer and wonderful festive season.

In order to avoid being a victim of cash robberies, consider options that are lower risk instead of withdrawing large sums of cash such as, consider carrying little cash as possible; consideration of using electronic transactions in paying your accounts (your bank would advise you on available payment options).  People should also consider making use of cell phone banking or internet transfers or ATMs to do your banking.  Motorists are advised not to leave accessories such as jewellery, cell phones, wallets, laptops exposed for passers-by to notice them. The golden rule is for people to eliminate opportunity that could cause any criminal activity. Generic hints for businesses which are cash based and need to deposit money on regular basis at the bank are:

  • Alternate the days and times on which you deposit cash
  • Never make your bank visits public, even to people close to you
  • Do not openly display the money you are depositing while you are standing in the bank queue
  • Avoid carrying money bags, briefcases or openly displaying your deposit receipt book
  • It’s advisable to identify another branch nearby that you can visit to ensure that your banking pattern is not easily recognisable or detected
  • If the amount of cash you are regularly depositing is increasing as your business grows, consider using the services of a cash management company
  • Refrain from giving wages to your contract or casual labourers in full view of the public rather make use of wage accounts that can be provided by your bank
  • Refrain from driving to the bank in your company branded vehicle on a typical ‘pay day’
  • Consider arranging for electronic transfers of wages to your contract or casual labourers’ personal bank accounts

Hints to avoid cash robberies of stokvels and savings clubs. If you are a member of a cash savings club, advise members of your club of the following:

  • Refrain from making cash deposits of club members’ contributions on high risk days (e.g. Mondays after month end)
  • Ensure persons depositing club cash contributions or making withdrawals are accompanied by another club member
  • A stokvel, savings club or burial society can arrange for members to deposit cash directly into the club’s account instead of collecting cash contributions
  • Arrange for the club’s pay-out to be electronically transferred into each club member’s personal account or accounts of their choice.

In order to avoid rapes, female patrons in taverns or liquor outlets are advised never to accept drinks from strangers or leave their drinks unattended.  On leaving a liquor outlets, either arrange for a meter taxi, or an alternative but reliable transport to take you home.  Be a responsible person, by reporting any liquor outlet that is selling liquor to any person under 18 unanimously via Crime Stop 08600 10111.


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