Blue light hijacking. Image: pexels.com

Hijackers are using the “blue light” method amongst other new tricks

The flash of a police badge is not enough.


Blue light hijacking. Image: pexels.com

The “blue light” scenario is one of the many hijacking tactics on the rise, according to National Hijack Prevention Academy the flash of a badge is not enough. The police need to prove who they are to the public, by using other reputable equipment to identify themselves.

“Should a suspicious vehicle be an unmarked SAPS vehicle, the police must identify themselves by use of blue light, loudspeaker or any other police equipment. The flash of a badge through the window whilst driving is not enough. The Police must go all out to let the public know who they are.”

National Hijack Prevention Academy

“Blue light” method: Impersonating law enforcement officials to commit hijackings

Tracker, a vehicle recovery company has recorded new vehicle crime statistics dating back to July 2018 up until June 2019. In their data, they have picked up an increase in the “blue light” hijacking trend, where criminals impersonate law officials and data shows that 29% of Tracker’s recovered cases involved a hostage situation.

“Further techniques include criminals impersonating law enforcement officials to commit hijackings, a method that is otherwise known as blue light robberies. The spiking of drinks to take advantage of unsuspecting victims, and vehicle theft using online selling platforms, where sellers hand over goods on receipt of a fake payment.”


Drive to the nearest police station if you are in doubt

If you are in an emergency like this, drive to the nearest police station or a busy public area. When doing this, your intentions must be clear, put on your emergency lights and indicate the car should follow you. Always have your identity document and drivers license available for the police and avoid “staged” minor accidents, as hijackers use this ploy to get drivers to stop. If you are ever in doubt, follow these instructions:

  • Never open your vehicle window or door for any stranger.
  • If a suspicious person is near your unoccupied vehicle, do not approach the vehicle.
  • If you encounter obstacles in the road, e.g. rocks, tyres, do not get out of your vehicle to remove them. Reverse and drive away in the opposite direction.
  • Do not stop to eat or rest on deserted roads.
  • Do not leave your vehicle unattended at a garage.
  • Cell phones should be carried on the body, perpetrators will not allow you to remove your cell phone and valuables from the vehicle during an attack.