Yesterday afternoon I attended the World Cup security brief held at the Consular section and presented by Mr Aubrey Pieters. Those of you who have attended the security courses at the BHC when you first arrived will be aware of his pedigree and his background as an independent security advisor. It was an interesting brief which was well received by both the black and the white faces in the audience.
Due to the large number of Police (SAPS) that will be required to actually police the event, the criminals and the security advisors are aware that the World Cup period is going to be like another holiday period for the criminal fraternity. The SAPS will be concentrating on the areas most frequented by visitors/tourists. These will be at the Football stadiums, the Fan parks, ORT airport, hotels in the cities and the routes to the stadiums. This leaves the criminals to have a free run at the suburbs! The criminals are fully aware of this too. They understand that the reaction time for SAPS to get to an incident will be long - if they come at all.
The crimes that will increase are home invasions, driveway robberies and carjacking at your home.
Home invasions. These are likely to take place when the criminals see a number of cars in driveways of homes. This would indicate that there are a group of friends watching a match who will be distracted. Normally alcohol is involved and there is usually a door open where the guys have been at the BBQ. They will attempt to jump the fence or get into the property and rob everyone of their personnel effects.
Carjackings. No change to the normal brief from Aubrey. Gangs will target women (normally) in a supermarket and inform other gang members who are in the car park waiting to follow you home. The advice is to pay attention to who else turns the same way as you do at junctions. The car tailing you is likely to be 3 or 4 cars back. If you think you are being tailed head to a petrol station or large shopping centre and get out the car and phone for help. Do not try to get home and get in the front gate. Either phone ADT and get them to meet you somewhere or better still phone the Dip Police. They will not be involved in football match security..
Driveway robberies. Be very aware of who or what is in your street or outside your house when you approach it. If somebody is loitering or if you pass a car with one or two occupants apparently sat idly, do not enter your drive.. Always pull up parallel to your drive and open the gate. Never pull up in front of the gate and then open it. That will be the time when you get boxed in by the car full of trouble and you won’t have much time to react. They are then likely to steal what you have on you (wallets, purses, rings, mobile phones, laptops etc) and then shoot off or worst still get you to open the house and go in with you.
For those of you who are going to the games, the trouble you are likely to come across will be either a few drunken yobs looking for a fight or pickpockets. The security agencies are aware that major public gatherings like the World Cup will attract international pickpockets from around the world. These guys are experts and you will not know that it has happened until many hours later. Gents wallets are normally kept in the back right pocket of trousers. Move it. Split your money and cards. Be careful.
Smash and grabs will increase too. Tourists will leave cameras, phones and bags on car seats. Rich pickings for the smash and grab gangs. If you don’t already have the smash and grab film on your car windows go and get it done now. If you can’t afford it, the advice is to drive with your windows down about half an inch. This makes it 4 times harder to smash the window.
For those with children the World Cup is going to be a particularly bad time for child abductions. In South Africa there are 15 abductions/kidnappings every day and they see this as a crime which will get out of hand over the World Cup period. Human trafficking gangs know that the schools are all on holiday over the tournament. They will target shopping malls, cafes, cinemas, public toilets and toy departments in shops. The SA authorities estimate that approx 300,000 Africans will come over the borders for the tournament. The borders will not be able to cope with the surge and checks will be cursory in most cases. Babies will be abducted for scrupulous adoption agencies in Nigeria and the like. Children aged 4-8 will be targeted for the porn industry. Those children around 9 – 13 for prostitution.
Keep an eye on your children! Do not send them off to the toilets alone. Do not let them go to the toy section while you do the rest of your shopping.
Please pass this on to your families.
The Key message is that crime is likely to increase and the response by the Police will be slow. Stay alert and street wise and you should be fine..