South Africa is a great country with fantastic people, but we have a massive violent crime problem.
Our view is that as soon as the lockdown is over, we will see an added spike in our already horrific crime rate, and this unfortunately will not abate for some time. History, statistics and common sense tells us that in times of great social upheaval and massive unemployment, crime will naturally increase. When combined with a police service that is severely under resourced and facing operational challenges, the effect can be terrible.
When it comes to security, it’s vital that you acknowledge that you and only you are responsible for your self protection. You need to cultivate the skills and knowledge in order to proactively respond to security threats, and you need a plan on how to react in a given situation.
What can you as an individual or family do to mitigate your security risk in these times? There are three primary areas you need to consider:
- Home: General security.
- Travelling: When driving. When stationary. Leaving and arriving from home and work.
- Leisure: Shops, restaurants and crowds.
Make sure your home security is up to standard. Think of security as an onion ring with layers. If there is a breach in your security you need to be alerted by the outer layer, not the innermost one. Time gives you options in this scenario, time for your security provider to react, time for you and your family to move to a safe area in your home. Yes, think through this point… If an alarm is triggered, where is the safest place in your home to hide and if necessary, barricade yourself away? Have a plan in place that every member of your family knows.
This outer layer is generally an electric fence, sensors and beams. Test them and make sure they are working. (No, don’t touch your electric fence! Security providers have been designated essential services and if you suspect your fence is not working, call them.)
Make sure all your doors and points of entry can be securely locked. If you use an internal alarm system remember that when that activates (and you may be in a deep sleep when it does) you have very little time to react.
When the lockdown is over and you are out and about in your vehicle, security is divided into two segments, mobile and stationary. There is generally very little risk whilst you are driving, beyond general road safety precautions. The risk however escalates when you are stationary, or drawing/ being forced to stop.
A criminal has the luxury of choosing the time, place and method of attack. When this attack happens all you can do is react. This is where situational awareness is crucial, because the sooner you recognize the attack is happening the more distance and vital time you have to react. Distance buys you time. Time buys you options.
Always make sure that you can see the bottom of the tires of the vehicle in front of you, and if possible on a multi-lane road, try and not get sandwiched up against the barrier or steep pavement. This will assist in giving you the space and time you need to escape.
Arriving home is a prime area where risk skyrockets. Be on the lookout for the absence of the normal and the presence of the abnormal. Deviations from the norm should cause alarm bells to go off in your head. Dogs not at the gate, strange vehicle parked nearby etc. Whilst you are stationary, waiting for your gate to open you are an easy target. Make sure your situational awareness is fully active during this period. Try not to pull into your driveway as you can be easily blocked in, rather pull to the side of the road and wait for your gate to open before driving in. Stop and close the gate immediately. Do not exit the vehicle until you are certain that no one has slipped in behind you. The same procedure applies when arriving at your place of work.
The key to security in a vehicle is to become mobile as quickly as possible. As your window is about to break in a “Smash and Grab” or you see Hijackers jumping out of their vehicle, the key is to get out of danger as quickly as possible. Vehicle damage can be easily fixed, people not so much… If you have to ram your way through a blocking vehicle or ramp over pavements to escape, do it!
Be very aware of security risks at service stations. When you are sitting in your vehicle filling up, keep the window closed as much as possible and doors locked.
It is in situations like these where an Armormax vehicle becomes worth its weight in gold! Safe and secure inside your vehicle, the armour will buy you those critical seconds you need to become mobile and escape. We have saved an astounding number of lives in South Africa and around the world in attacks on occupants of vehicles we have armoured.
Large crowded shopping centers are a favorite for criminals. Where better to spot a target wearing luxury items and surreptitiously follow them to their vehicle than this. When in the parking area approaching your vehicle, keep a lookout for potential threats. Don’t take your time unpacking and entering your vehicle. Drive off as soon as possible. Keep a lookout for vehicles that may be following you. You don’t have to be paranoid, but a good sense of what’s going on around you can make the difference. If that car that you noticed when you left the shopping center is still in sight when you arrive home, the alarm bells should be ringing.
How can we help?
Firstly, although constrained on the production side we are still operational. Our overseas suppliers are still operating and although their production is slightly slower, we are still able to take, schedule and process orders.
Our concern is a global spike in demand for bullet proof cars, and we want to make sure that if you are considering armouring your vehicle we get to the front of the queue in terms of components we need, bearing in mind It will also take a while for the cargo industry to ramp up and stabilize deliveries. Even though the exchange rate has taken a knock with the downgrade we have decided to hold our prices stable for as long as possible.