Vision Tactical –
While Nothing Can Completely Eliminate The Risk of Kidnapping, There Are Ways To Protect Yourself Against It
In recent weeks there has been much concern surrounding reports of kidnappings, human trafficking and related criminal activities.
According to official South African Police Service reports, kidnappings for ransom isn’t on an exponential increase and majority of the reported kidnapping cases relates to domestic cases surrounding custody arrangements between parents for their children.
In an advisory notice from SAPS, it was stated that “reports of kidnappings circulating on social media has caused panic and fear in many communities in spite of assurances from the police that there has been no reported increase in the crimes.”
While a huge breakthrough has been made following the apprehension of high-profile suspects believed to be the backbone of the kidnapping for ransom syndicates operating in the Johannesburg area, the imminent threat is real and still apparent.
Members of the Vision Tactical team have been advising clients to rather take the necessary precautions instead of debating whether the risk is real, or who the targets are.
While nothing can ever completely eliminate your risk of being kidnapped, there are ways to protect yourself against it. We urge our clients to follow these simple tips that will help prevent or safeguard themselves and their families from becoming a target.
Kidnapping incidents can happen to anyone at any time.
Stop Routine Movement
- Find alternative routes to your destination
- If you think there is a threat, find other streets or highways you can use when driving from home to work and back.
- Kidnappers rely on your routine to track you down and then look for a time when you’re most vulnerable to an attack.
- Do not accept lifts offered by strangers.
Let Someone Know Where You’re Going
- Its better to try to always travel with company. There is slim chance that kidnappers will risk dealing with more than their target.
- When dropping off someone at their destination, ensure they are safely inside before driving away.
- Make sure someone knows where you’re going and who you’re meeting.
- Leave word with a family member or friend where you’re headed and if possible, give the name of the person you’re about to meet and other details you might know.
- Meet in a crowded place or somewhere other people can see you.
- We suggest mobile apps that allow trusted family members access your location.
- Take ID-like photos of your children every 6 months, and make sure that you always have these images accessable.
Limit Wearing Expensive Jewellery / Watches / Designer Clothing And Accessories
- Becoming a target for unscrupulous criminals / kidnappers is easier than you might think. Criminals watch your every move, what you are wearing, which cars you are driving and also where you shop.
- Limit exposing expensive clothing and branded items in public and also be aware of your surroundings while out shopping.
- Avoid receiving phone calls that involve discussing money or business transactions in public.
Control Social Media Exposure
- Over sharing personal information like geo-tagging posts which gives locations away immediately is dangerous.
- Educate your children from a young age on how to keep themselves safe, this includes how they conduct themselves on social media and the information they post online.
- Don’t post on social media the places you frequent. We suggest you share experiences from restaurants, hotels and other leisure on social media when you get home.
- Keeping your phone with you at all times is very important as it can be a source of help when there is a threat of kidnap. Don’t just keep your phone with you but make sure you have airtime and its charged, no matter how little so that it can be useful in times of danger.
Be Aware of Your Surroundings
- Park only in well-lit, heavily-travelled areas.
- Check your surroundings before getting out of your car.
- Experienced kidnappers often conduct surveillance on potential victims using cars; therefore, be wary of the same cars following you for long periods of time.
- Whenever you notice any threat of a kidnapping around you, attract the attention of people around to yourself by screaming or shouting.
- Communities are urged to be vigilant and report any suspicious individuals immediately to the South African Police Service or any other law enforcement entity.
- Ensure that CCTV systems at homes, businesses, schools etc is in good working order and that the time is in sync. This will avoid confusion in the event of an incident.
- Ensure that panic buttons are in good working order. A prompt armed response is a major deterrent not only for kidnappers at a premises, but also other crimes.
- Choose caregivers, babysitters, childcare providers and nannies carefully and check their references. If you’ve arranged for someone to pick up your child from school discuss the arrangements beforehand with your child and with the school.
- Police will always identify themselves with an ID card if they are not in uniform. If you are unsure, contact your local police station immediately or your security services provider. Note the call sign of branded police vehicles or the vehicle registration details of the vehicle if it’s unmarked.
The first few hours of a kidnapping case is the most critical, so it’s important to contact your local police and give them as much information as possible. There is no 24 – hour waiting period for a person that missing.
Vision Tactical – 084 222 2222
SAPS – 10111
Media Enquiries: Mohamed 074 772 333 3