Stay a step ahead of crime this festive season

The taxi rank near the Main Road in Wynberg.

Crime tends to increase over the festive season, but Wynberg police say there are things you can do to stay one step ahead of criminals wanting to put a dampener on your Christmas cheer.

Wynberg police spokesperson, Captain Ntombi Lindipasi, says busy areas, such as Wynberg Main Road, are traditional hunting grounds for crooks looking to take advantage of those who let their guard down over the holidays.

She warns the public to remain vigilant, especially when withdrawing money at ATMs and when driving.

“People tend to be excited during this season and forget that there are
criminals and opportunists out there who want to prey on their hard-earned
savings and bonuses as well as stokvels.”

If you see suspicious activity at an ATM or it’s poorly lit rather go elsewhere to make your transaction, she says.

And never give out your PIN, not even to a bank official or security personnel.

“Do not count cash at the machine and never accept assistance from a stranger. It is safer to swipe your card when purchasing goods than doing a withdrawal from an ATM.”

When travelling in your car, Captain Lindipasi advises planning your route
and letting others know where you are going and what time you’re likely to return, especially if you are driving alone at night. Avoid stopping in remote areas and never leave valuables unattended in your vehicle.
“Rather lock your things in your boot.”

Don’t give lifts to strangers, park in well-lit areas and install immobilisers and trackers to your vehicle, she says.

* Police have announced an amnesty period – until May 31 next year – to surrender illegal or unwanted firearms, ammunition or gun parts.

Call 012 353 6111 for more information on firearm legislation.

* Anyone unhappy with the way in which police have handled a case can call the National Service Complaints Call Centre at 080 033 3177 or