Every now and then we publish these guidelines or tips, and still people are hijacked.
Victims of highjackings almost without exception after the event said:
“If only we took tips like this serious, we could have avoided it”.
- Don’t be the next victim.
- Don’t let your loved ones be the next victim
- Do spread this message to as many people possible – you could save a life!
In 2015/2016 a number of 90.9% of vehicle thefts were reported to the police, while only 86.9% of hijackings were reported to the police.
Hijacked vehicles reported to the police from 2012 – 2015/2016 has seen an increase from:
- 80.6% in 2012 to
- 86.9% in 2015/2016.
The following safety hints are aimed at providing a potential hostage or hijacking victim with practical advice.
In many instances, injuries and deaths are the result of inconsiderate actions taken by the victims themselves.
There are certain guidelines that could increase a victim’s chances of survival and decrease the risk of humiliation, discomfort and injury.
Know what to expect as a victim.
People who are taken hostage or hijacked, tend to experience feelings of:
- disbelief and
This first reaction usually leads to resistance, or retaliation which could have fatal consequences.
Prepare to be alone and isolated from your family, friends or loved one, and to lose track of time and place.
Know what to expect of the perpetrators.
- They could be tense, anxious and nervous.
- They could display a tendency to overreact.
- Do everything the perpetrators tell you to do.
- Try at all times to maintain your pride, dignity and self-respect.
- Try to maintain a sense of humour, but do not ridicule the aggressors
- Try to remain orientated regarding your movements, directions, time and place.
What NOT to do.
- Do not at any time become panic stricken or hysterical
- offer any form of resistance
- become abusive and aggressive or lose your temper
- threaten or provoke the captor(s)
- try to be a hero
- engage in an argument with the captor(s)
- engage in any whispered conversations with the perpetrators
- use foreign concepts of language, as this could arouse the captor’s suspicions
- make any demands
- be sympathetic towards your captor’s cause
- try to escape, as this could place you at risk
SOME MORE PRACTICAL TIPS.
- When approaching your vehicle, keep your key ready but not visible. Unlock your car when you’re close by.
- Check the rear seat before getting into your car.
- A well-maintained car is less likely to break down and leave you vulnerable.
- Plan your route and let someone know what your route is and when to expect you at your destination.
- Avoid driving with your windows open and keep the doors locked.
Put all valuables out of sight and leave your window slightly open as it more flexible / difficult to break.
- Avoid distractions while driving such as using a cellphone.
- If you suspect you are being followed, drive to your nearest police station or a busy public area.
- When approaching a red traffic light, slow down so that you only reach it when it turns green.
- Make sure your driveway is well lit and clear of shrubbery.
- If possible, park in a central, well-lit place, preferably with guards on duty.
- When stopping behind another vehicle, leave half a vehicle length in front so you can make an emergency escape if necessary.
- Change your routes and your schedule if possible on a regular basis.
- Hijacking trends change constantly. Be alert and if anything looks suspicious rather be safe and drive around the block and contact the SAPS or your Security Service Provider requesting an escort to your premises.
- If your vehicle is damaged (tyre or windscreen) while driving don’t stop immediately.
- Drive to a well lit area or away from where the incident occurred and inspect the damages.
- Lower your music and use your mirrors to confirm that you are not being followed about 1km from your destination.
- Put away your cellphone and eliminate any distractions.
- Make arriving at your destination safer by calling ahead and asking someone to open and close your gate for you.
- Before entering your premises if alone, park parallel to your home while opening the gate with the remote.
- In the event of a hijacking, keep your hands visible at all times as the suspects are as nervous as you.
- Be submissive and listen to the suspects’ instructions, human life is worth more than a vehicle.
- Do not resist.
- Place your child that is in a baby seat behind you to remove the child with ease.
- Indicate to the suspect that you have a child in the backseat and remove the child by shielding him / her as much as possible.
- Remain calm and try to identify any useful information about the hijackers without staring at them. Create time and space as quickly as possible between yourself and the treat.