easy target for criminals

Tips to bot be an easy target for criminals. Image by Benjamin Williams/Unsplash

Are you an easy target for criminals? Find out

Criminals are opportunistic, so best not to create an opportunity. Here are 10 ways in which you become an easy target for criminals.

easy target for criminals

Tips to bot be an easy target for criminals. Image by Benjamin Williams/Unsplash

Contact crimes are increasing in South Africa. Listed here are 10 ways in which you become an easy target for criminals.

What are contact crimes?  

According to the South African Police Service’s (SAPS) latest crime stats, contact crime  increased by 3.8% compared to the prior period. Contact crime is crime against a person. This includes common robbery, robbery with aggravating circumstances, carjacking, common assault, attempted murder, and murder, to name a few. There are a few things that you can do to avoid being an easy target for criminals.

The biggest spike among common crimes in SA, was robbery with aggravating circumstances. It increased by 6.6%.

“Crime in South Africa is a reality, and anyone can become a victim. Criminals are on the lookout for easy targets. If you come across as distracted or vulnerable, there is a real chance that criminals will consider you as an easy target.”

Security group Fidelity ADT

These things could make you a target

Crime is often opportunistic, meaning that crime is more likely in situations favourable for the criminal, i.e. when committing the crime is easy. It is important to be aware of the factors that make a situation easy and appealing for a criminal, so that you can avoid becoming an easy target.

Business Tech published a list by Fidelity ADT of 10 factors that make people more vulnerable to crime:

1. Running out of fuel

Taking a chance when your car’s fuel gauge is low could potentially make you a victim of crime. Traffic is unpredictable, so make sure you have slightly more fuel than is needed. This is even more important if you are travelling on highways or through high-risk areas.

2. Carrying large amounts of cash

Avoid carrying or transporting large amounts of cash.

3. Being unobservant when pulling into your driveway

Criminals often observe people’s routines and then plan their crimes accordingly. If at all possible, try to not have the exact same routine every day, for example the time you get home. It is best to stay in your car with the doors locked until the gate or garage door is closed behind you.

4. Displaying valuable items

Expensive jewellery, especially watches, is very appealing for criminals. Keep your phone and money out of sight and avoid wearing expensive jewellery when going to places where you may become a crime target such as shopping malls.

5. Opening the gate for strangers

Never open the gate or your front door to someone you don’t know. Criminals often pose as council workers or police officers, for example. to get access to your home.

6. Employing people to work for you without doing a background check

This is similar to letting a stranger into your house. If you need maintenance work, use someone from a reputable company or ask friends, colleagues, or neighbours for recommendations.

7. Leaving doors and security gates unlocked

Always lock your front door and security gates, regardless of the time of day and make sure that the keys are out of reach and out of sight. Even if you are planning to just quickly go inside and then leave again, do not take the chance.

8. Walking or sitting in your car in isolated areas

This is an ideal scenario for opportunistic crime.

9. Driving with valuables visible

Keep valuable items such as your handbag and laptop out of sight. You can place it under your seat (if it won’t slide out) or in the boot of your car.

10. Trusting that your car doors are locked before you walk away

Remote jamming is still common, especially at shopping centres and garages. Make sure to check that your car doors are locked before walking away.