Avoid Being Burgled

LOTS OF people have become victims of burglary in recent times; and the crime continues to increase at an alarming rate. It is more worrying to return from work to find almost everything of yours packed out of your house for no reason.

I was personally a victim of burglary and for a moment, I lost my sense of reasoning. Lots of thoughts came to mind as to whom to quickly suspect but eventually, I had no other alternative than to lodge a complaint with the police. My properties were gone for good.

Burglary in simple terms, is the illegal entry of a building or premises with the intention of committing a crime, especially theft. Majority of residential burglaries occur during the day and non-residential burglaries oftenoccur at night. Burglars mostly gain entry points through forcing of doors and windows.

To intensify security in our communities, the public can fall on a number of interventions by the Police Administration to rid our communities of criminal activities such as this. The Police Visibility Concept – which has gained a lot of commendations from the public – the Motorbike Patrol, the Bicycle and Foot Patrol by the Community Policing wing, to mention a few, are there to assist in curbing crime.

Yes, police personnel are to provide the necessary security required for people to move about freely; but it must be remembered that they cannot be everywhere at the same time. The best policeman or woman is yourself – even if you live in the most secured and plush community in Ghana.

Vigilance is the key; and the police suggest these as a perfect starting point against burglary and some prevention clues:

v As much as possible, protect vulnerable areas of your home and property by using good locks to delay activities of burglars.

v If possible, employ the use of alarms on doors and windows as the surest way for early detection of burglary.

v Desist from hiding keys to the house, outside the house. Think of leaving it with a neighbour you can trust.

v Secure sliding glass with glass panel to avoid being lifted out of the track.

v The porch or entrance of the house must be easily observed from the street.

v Be certain to secure all entrance to the living quarters from the garage.

v Store ladders, tools and other equipment out of sight or mind of passersby

v Trim trees and shrubs near doors and windows to prevent burglars from hiding in them.

v Leave lights on when closing your shop or leaving your home in the night. Tell a trusted neighbour if you will be gone for a while.

v Be cautious of workers and artisans working in your house or neighbour’s house.

v Getting a dog, (not necessarily a large one) can create the noise burglars try to avoid.

v Avoid keeping or displaying electronic devices and other valuables visible from the street.

v Take notice of numbers of vehicles and strangers in your vicinity. Always remember to give a good account of any suspicious act or character.

v Form Neighbourhood Watch Committee/Programmes with the assistance of the police in your area.

When citizens take positive steps by learning to secure their properties and reporting suspicious activities around their homes, we will be fighting a common goal. Remember, policing is a shared responsibility.

Car Snatching
Car snatching is fast becoming a well organized, booming and attractive venture for criminals. In 2012, the Greater Accra Regional Command recorded high cases of car snatching. It is always said that as knowledge increases, so is crime also increasing. Criminals on daily basis devise clever but deceitful ways to outwit their victims. Where the victim suspects the slightest doubt and resist, violence becomes the only option for possession.

Since desperate people do desperate things, weapons, knives, machetes, sharp and deadly instruments are used on victims who may be bold to resist. Human life does not matter anymore. What matters here is the means to an end. How worse can it be?

Every driver on the road, irrespective of your status, could become a victim of car snatching. Commercial drivers, Ministers of State, security personnel, students, among others, have lost their vehicles to car snatchers. Some have been fortunate enough to recover theirs through the efforts of the police and the public.

Always keep in mind that your activities could be carefully monitored by criminals and be robbed at locations safe for them and unsafe for you.

Many victims have recounted their ordeal and the police have also made efforts in fighting the menace with all diligence and professionalism. However, you are reminded to be on the lookout for such persons anytime you pick the keys to your vehicles.

v Since your life is key, in all circumstances never resist or struggle with your attacker.

v Be conscious of any suspicious vehicle following/trailing you, especially when you are from the bank.

v Drive to the nearest police station immediately you suspect a vehicle following you and report it.

v Avoid displaying valuables such as laptops, ladies bags (whether they contain money or not), phones, iPods, etc. in the full glare of passersby. They can draw the attention of a criminally minded person. Instead, keep them at the booth.

v Avoid dangerous but short routes to your place of destination. Prefer using main roads.

v Avoid using one particular route always. Try to apply different routes.

v Some criminals throw eggs on windscreens to cause poor visibility and snatch the vehicles the moment the drivers pull them to a halt. Don’t stop when your current location is unsafe. Drive ahead and stop at a safe place.

v Car snatchers mostly re-spray stolen vehicles to make them difficult for identification. If possible, have a personal identification mark which would be used to identify the car if later impounded.

v Avoid leaving your ignition key on when you stop to urinate or come out of your vehicle briefly.

v Avoid confrontation with drivers who may hit your back car at odd places and hours. They may belong to a gang.

v Always keep your car doors looked, especially in traffic.

v Use car tracking devices if you can afford.

v Insure your vehicles.

These may be useful to Commercial drivers:

v Avoid picking more than two passengers at odd hours to unsafe locations, even if the fare is good.

v Avoid using unfamiliar routes on the request of passengers.

v Always put off your engine with your keys out when looking for change for your passengers. Even when they request to listen to the radio in your vehicle.

v Observe any suspicious movements of your passenger from your mirror and quickly drive to the nearest safe place for assistance.

v Avoid engaging services of spare drivers; they may join a gang to attack you after carefully monitoring your movements for some time.

v Be careful with persons who may pose as heavily pregnant women, seeking help at odd hours. They may belong to a syndicate.

A life lost is irreplaceable; always remember not to struggle with an attacker and be the best police yourself to stay safe.

Robbery
Be careful with drivers, house helps, security men, garden men, etc;

Be careful with shoemakers and foodstuffs hawkers who enter your house;

Your mobile phone conversation could make you a target of robbery so be mindful who is next to you;

Take good note of people who attack you, their gestures, voices, heights, tribal marks, etc. to enable you identify them when arrested.

Never identify a robber in the process of attack – even when you recognize him;

Never struggle with a robber, remember he/she is armed but you are not.

FOR ANY INFORMATION ON CRIME AND POLICE ASSISTANCE,

CALL NATIONAL CRIMEFIGHTERS NUMBERS:

0302 773695 0302 773906

MTN & VODAFONE TOLL FREE: 18555

191(VODAFONE/EXPRESSO/AIRTEL & TIGO)

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