What is Robbery?

Robbery occurs when a person unlawfully takes property from another person or place by force, or by threatening to cause harm if they are not given what they demand. Robbers are normally armed with deadly weapons that they won’t hesitate to use to harm or kill a person that they are robbing.

Very few adults can say they have never been robbed in their lives. Those of us who have been robbed before, know how it feels to lose something you have been saving months for, and which they will sell for less than what you spent on it.

Here is how you can protect yourself when walking on the streets

1. Look confident. If you walk confidently you are less likely to be targeted by criminals. Don’t look around too much but be aware of your surroundings.
2. Know where you are going. Criminals can easily spot a person who is not sure where they are going, or is not familiar with their surroundings at all. Google your destination before leaving the house, you don’t want to walk with your phone in your hand. Memorise the name of the important buildings and shops that you will pass before you reach your destination if you are not familiar with the city that you are visiting. If you are visiting a friend or family in a township that you have never been to before, ask them to wait for you where your public transport will be dropping you off.
3. Hide your gadgets. Stash your cellphone and other valuables away. If you walk around phoning or texting on your cellphone it is more likely to be snatched away as you are paying less attention to your surroundings.
4. Trust your instincts. If you spot people that you don’t trust ahead, change direction and walk as fast as possible to a place of safety. Fortunately, nowadays there are security guards in most streets of South African big cities.
5. Do not carry large amounts of cash. Some robbers start following their victims from shopping stores or restaurants because they see them when they stash back the change in their wallets after paying. Rather use your bank cards to pay for items that require you to pay more than a couple of hundred rand.
6. Carry keys in your hand. The keys make a noise when you keep them in your pockets, especially if you have loose pockets. This noise might make the robbers think that you have many coins in your pockets. This could make you their target.
7. Walk in well-lit streets. Walk on busy streets that are not too dark for you to see another person’s face from a distance. If you are in a city, keep to roads or paths which are more likely to be covered by CCTV cameras. Also, if possible, avoid walking alone.

If you were robbed before, follow the above tips to reduce the chances of losing your valuables again. If you have never been robbed these tips will help to make sure that you never are! Finally, please don’t risk your life if you find yourself being threatened with violence over your valuables. Remember, you can buy them again but you will never get your life back.


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