The national lockdown has had a positive effect on crime levels in the country, with Police Minister Bheki Cele confirming early in April that there had been a significant drop in serious and violent crimes since lockdown started on March 27.
While this is good news, we would like to warn residents and businesses against complacency, especially with the easing up of certain restrictions during the national lockdown.
More people are going back to work and businesses reopening poses an opportunity for criminals to blend in more and have broader opportunities to commit crime. The economic impact of lockdown is also a driver for crime. Everyone has been impacted by the economic effect of Covid-19 and many may turn to crime to survive. On the other hand, we fear many home and business owners may be thinking about cutting or downgrading their security systems and contracts with service providers as a means to survive financially.
Take note of these 5 security risks and tips for lockdown living:
- More cars are parked on properties now than normal during the day and night. Mitigate the risk of vehicles being stolen or broken into by ensuring garden beams are activated.
- More doors are being opened with the whole family home. The best advice is to use one door if possible and keep the rest locked, including the security gates.
- Families are enjoying the good autumn weather outdoors. If you are using the back garden, ensure the front is protected by arming the garden beams and vice versa.
- No communication with neighbours. Many people do not know their neighbours or interact with them – in or out of lockdown. Exchanging telephone numbers and being aware of who is legitimately on their property can be helpful in an emergency.
- False alarms. Family members who are not generally involved with the security protocols in the home may be inadvertently triggering the alarm or beams at all hours of the day and night. It is always important that everyone in the home knows how the alarm and panic buttons work and how to quickly get help in an emergency.
This is not the time to leave your family vulnerable with an inadequate security system or security provider. There is no doubt that crime will pick up as we move through the various levels of lockdown to open up the economy. We need to remain vigilant and protected.