Every year we pay more and more for short term insurance, not only because of the increasing vehicle accident statistics, but also as a result of hijackings and theft of vehicles.
The South African Police Service has revealed that the numbers for 2005 -2006 were as follows:
- Theft of motor vehicles/ motorcycles: 85,964
- Total Carjackings: 12,825
- Total Truck Hijackings: 829
The cost of running an effective business is also on the increase as it has become more important to budget for security systems and vehicle tracking systems. This trend is not limited to South Africa as we find that criminals across the globe have become more inventive. Tracking companies are increasing spending on development of new technology and South Africa has become well known for the export of quality security systems
In the latest Digicore newsletter it is revealed that the UK energy company NPOWER has fitted an additional 100 vans with DigiCore’s C-track system. This comes two years after DigiCore was originally appointed to develop and implement an innovative vehicle tracking solution across 300 vehicles that operate in the North-East, Yorkshire, North-West and East Midlands regions. The vehicle tracking solution, utilising DigiCore’s C-track system, is designed to give total transparency of fleet movements in real-time to maximise the productivity and effectiveness of its mobile workforce and assets.
In a related story it has been revealed that another UK Company , Southern Water, the water and wastewater company serving more than two million households in the South East of England, has safely recovered a stolen van using DigiCore’s C-track vehicle tracking solution just weeks after it was installed. I am proud to say that Digicore is a South African company – and one of the sponsors to have made possible the development of the Arrive Alive road safety website!
Even though we can benefit greatly from vehicle security systems, we also need to be attentive to the more threatening physical danger of hijacking. Hijacking is a threat to our safety on the road and we need to acquaint ourselves with protective steps to be taken.
Visitors to the Arrive Alive Website have often enquired as to the “most hijacked vehicles”. Foreign visitors have requested this information to decide on a safer rental car in an effort to avoid being victims of hijackings. I often explain that it might be more important to consider your route and the time that you are on the road.
There are however specific safety suggestions on the Arrive Alive website under the section “Hijacking”. If you are indeed the unfortunate victim of a hijacking, it would be best to consider the following:
KNOW WHAT TO EXPECT AS A VICTIM
- People who are taken hostage or hijacked, tend to experience feelings of anxiety, shock, disbelief and confusion.
- This first reaction usually leads to resistance, or retaliation which could have fatal consequences.
- Prepare yourself to be alone and isolated from your family, friends or loved ones, and to lose track of time and place.
KNOW WHAT TO EXPECT OF THE PERPETRATORS
- They could be tense, anxious and nervous.
- They could display a tendency to overreact.
- Do everything the perpetrators tell you to do.
- Try at all times to maintain your pride, dignity and self-respect.
- Keep your brain active by playing games in your mind (mind games), daydreaming and reading whatever you are offered.
- To maintain your physical strength you should eat the food provided by your captor(s).
- Try to maintain a sense of humor, but do not ridicule the aggressors.
- Try to remain orientated regarding your movements, directions, time and place.
- Try to maintain a routine and remain fit, if circumstances permit.
- Allow yourself to be led by your captor(s).
- Try to remain cool and calm.
- Fall flat and remain down during the relieving attack
- Do not at any time become panic stricken or hysterical.
- Do not offer any form of resistance.
- Do not become abusive and aggressive or lose your temper.
- Do not threaten or provoke the captor(s).
- Do not try to be a hero.
- Do not engage in an argument with the captor(s).
- Do not engage in any whispered conversations with the perpetrators.
- Do not use foreign concepts or languages, as this could arouse the captors’ suspicions.
- Do not make any demands.
- Do not be sympathetic towards your captors’ cause.
- Do not try to escape, as this could place you at risk.
- These safety hints are published by the South African Police Service, Division: Crime Prevention, in support of actions taken by hostage negotiators in the best interest of the community.
Visit the Arrive Alive website for a more detailed information on aspects such as :