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Safeguard yourselves against crime: SAIA
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Safeguard yourselves against crime: SAIA

"We anticipate an increase in criminal activity, therefore we urge the public and especially holiday makers to take precaution and safeguard themselves and their families by minimising their risk during the holiday season,"says SAIA Acting Chief Executive, Ms Viviene Pearson.

She added that the SAIA is actively involved in the law enforcement community through the South African Insurance Crime Bureau (SAICB) and in association with Business Against Crime South Africa (BACSA), to address crime related activity affecting the short-term insurance industry.

The SAIA urges the public to be on high alert about the following types of crimes that occur during the holiday season:

Muggings and theft

Car jamming (used mainly at petrol stations and in parking lots at shopping centres)

Mall robberies

House robberies and burglaries while away from home

The SAIA has shared the following insurance and safety tips with the public

Ensure that your policies covering the building and contents of your home as well as your motor vehicles are up to date and that the premiums are fully paid.

Items such as cellphones, laptops and cameras etc. must be specified with your insurer.

Advise the South African Police Services (SAPS) in your area as well as your security company when and for how long you will be away and who they can contact in your absence.

Make sure that a friend or family member knows where to contact you in case of an emergency.

Similarly, they should know where the electrical supply trip switches are in your home to restore the power due to accidental failure. They should also check if the fridge and freezer are on and operating normally, as a long interruption can cause damage to the appliance and/or contents.

Make sure that your friend or family member is in possession of the contact details of your security company, the nearest Police Station, other law enforcement agencies as well as other emergency services.

Before leaving on holiday cancel delivery of newspapers and other commodities.

Arrange for someone to collect your post regularly and to inspect the premises at various intervals while you are away.

When stopping at petrol stations and when leaving your vehicle always physically check that your vehicle is locked to prevent culprits from jamming the lock of your vehicle and thereby gaining easy access to your movable property and valuables.

When arriving at your destination remain vigilant because crime occurs everywhere and is not restricted to where you live permanently.

Apply the same safety precautions which you would apply at home by inter alia locking all doors and windows.

Make sure that you have access to all the local emergency services contact numbers.

Avoid walking alone in badly lit areas or on deserted beaches.

Avoid carrying a lot of cash or wearing expensive jewelry.

Be vigilant when using Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs) in places and areas which you are not familiar with

Take out travel insurance especially if you are travelling outside of South Africa.

When driving at night, avoid stopping in remote areas, and under no circumstances give a lift to a stranger.

Do not drink and drive.

Do not leave your valuables unattended in shopping trolleys.

Do not leave items such as cellphones and wallets in open sight, unattended or on the seat of a car.

It is important for the public to be alert during the holidays and to share these key tips with friends and family. The SAIA wishes the public a safe and happy holiday and if you are driving please drive safely.