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Being aware of your personal surroundings wherever you go, is an effective first step of avoiding potential crime and criminals. Armed response company Fidelity ADT say this is one of three easy steps that can prove instrumental in personal protection.

“In most of the incidents we have responded to, we have observed an element of opportunism on the part of criminals. The best bit of advice I can give is for people to pay attention and avoid any distractions that could make them look like soft or easy targets,” says the company’s head of marketing and communications Charnel Hattingh.

This awareness, she adds, should extend to any journey to work or school or the shops as well as your leisure activities. “No matter where you go, make sure you keep an eye to see if anyone is following you. Instead of being distracted by looking at your phone while you go for a walk, rather keep your head held high and make sure you see everything happening around you.”

Trusting your instinct is yet another valuable step to take, says Hattingh.

“If an area or a situation makes you feel uncomfortable, it is better to err on the side of caution and rather avoid the area. For example, avoid dark streets or poorly lit areas, and rather choose public spaces where there are lots of people.”

Lastly, speak up if you see something suspicious. 

“Find out what the contact details are for your closest police station, the local municipality’s law enforcement team, or your neighbourhood watch. These committed and caring men and women are ready to come to your assistance if you come across a suspicious person in your suburb or any other scenario that appears to concerning. Don’t waste time; contact them immediately,” says Hattingh.

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