- Be aware
This is your first line of defence. Be aware of yourself, your surroundings and any strategies that a potential attacker may have. In any crime, the element of surprise is huge. So don’t be that girl – the easy target. Joburg’s criminals are adept at picking out those that seem like they aren’t paying attention.
And ladies, for goodness sake, pay attention to your intuition. Avoid those people or places that don’t ‘feel’ safe – you’re probably right.
- Walk with purpose
Positive and confident body language is a thing. It shows purpose and authority. It’s true that if you don’t appear like a victim, you’re less likely to become one. So pull those shoulders back, suck in that stomach and walk in such a way that shows people that you’re not going down without a fight. Chances are, you won’t have to fight at all.
There are plenty of a self defence classes around Joburg and it’s worth getting to know a few basic moves. Top tip: If you are attacked, go for the groin or eyes.
- Avoid distractions
This tip goes hand in hand with our first tip. People today love being connected. Whether it’s a cell phone, social media or your iPod, when you’re traveling through Joburg, it’s best to avoid these. Your Facebook newsfeed can be read when you’re at home; that Twitter conversation that you were following will still be there when you get to your destination; And earphones? They’re just not a good idea.
- Be vigilant when driving
Joburg is notorious for hijackings. But there are things that you can to lessen your chances of being targeted:
- Lock your valuables, including your handbag in your boot when traveling.
- Be vigilant when you’re stopped at a robot. IE: Don’t text or update Facebook.
- Leave space between you and the car in front of you when stopped at a robot, in case you need to make a quick getaway.
- As sad as it is, don’t stop to help people in trouble – criminals have been known to use this as a tactic to get people to stop.
- Avoid any obstacles in the road that are put there to get you to stop.
- In the event of theft
The reality is that sooner or later, something of yours is going to get jacked. We’ve all been there, and as frustrating as it is, it’s part and parcel of living in South Africa. So the next time your handbag is stolen, follow these steps to stay safe.
- Notify your bank and cancel all your cards immediately.
- Report the crime to the police – if only for the insurance.
- If necessary, blacklist your phone to stop anyone from accessing it.
- You may need to change the locks on your doors (as a precaution). Here are some numbers for locksmiths in Johannesburg south.
It’s not all doom and gloom out there and generally Joburg is a fantastic place to live. The city is alive with character and culture and if you’re aware of your surroundings, then hopefully you’ll get to enjoy all of its charm sans the crime.