Hijacking is on the rise – it’s right there in the stats – and the SAPS aren’t doing enough to stop it. We take a look at a Provincial level.
As part of the 2017 National Crime Statistics, Minister of Twitter and Police, Fikile Mbalula, revealed the reports on hijacking. A total of 16 717 cars were stolen between April 2016 and March 2017. That’s 2 115 more than the previous 12 months.These stats show a 14.5% increase in hijacking across the country. In fact, only three of the nine provinces saw a decrease in hijacking – namely the Northern Cape, Free State and Eastern Cape. Mpumalanga reported the highest increase, at 28.8%.Earlier this week, video footage popped up on social media showing a young woman in Durban fighting off a couple of hijackers with their own crowbar. The unknown Berea resident was opening her gate when a Mercedes pulled up behind her and two men jumped out.After managing to get the crowbar from one of them, she apparently decided she’d just had enough of this lunacy and swung away.These criminals, are running wild while the SAPS stand idly by. It’s little wonder that more and more people are fighting back.Is it brave? Not really. Is it smart? Certainly not. A while ago, we offered our readers some tips on how to survive a hijacking. There are better, safer ways to handle the situation, but if there’s no other option, what else can you do?In fact, just yesterday two police officers were allegedly hijacked and kidnapped in Bramley by four armed men. The situation ended in a shoot-out between the criminals and the SAPS in Kyalami, Midrand.Something’s got to give, at some point. In the meanwhile, let’s look at the mess we’re in.
Hijacking in SA is at its most rampant in the last decade. On average, about 46 cars are hijacked per day. More than half of these occurred in Gauteng alone.Hijackings are often linked to organised crime. Criminal syndicates ask for cars on order, such as your beloved VW Polo. Specific makes, models and colours might be in demand and therefore targeted.Though car theft is also a huge problem, the thugs-for-hire prefer hijacking us. Cars often have advanced security devices and it’s easier to take them undamaged with our ‘co-operation’.
More Tips On How To Prevent A Hijacking
As most hijackings occur right in the driveway of your home or at an intersection – we borrowed a few tips from Arrive Alive (and added a few of our own) to keep you vigilant.
Keep your doors locked and your windows closed. Do not have bags or briefcases visible in the vehicle. Use the boot for this. Your cellular phone, should, ideally, also not be visible;
There will be moments or days when you may need these items on hand. Open your window about 3cm so that the window can absorb any sudden impact in the event of a ‘smash & grab’. If you’ve left enough stopping distance, you might be able to escape;
When approaching a red traffic light at night, slow your acceleration down so that you might reach it as it turns green;
Do not take anything from people standing at traffic lights or gathering places. Perpetrators often stand among these people. Do not wind your window down. Do not get out of your car, no matter what they might tell you. If they’re persistent, use your hooter to attract attention;
Make sure no one is following you. If you suspect you are being followed, drive to the nearest police station or busy public area. Obviously, do not lead them to your home;
If you encounter any obstacles in the road, such as rocks or tyres, do not get out of your vehicle to remove them. Reverse and drive away in the opposite direction. Do not drive over anything in the road, even if it appears soft and non harmful. For instance, hijackers have been known to push long nails into oranges and throw them all over the road. Cars who drive over them suffer a flat tyre, and become victims.