The news that on average 56 farmers are murdered each year in South Africa is staggering.
Since 2012, there has been a total of 3 059 attacks reported to the South African Police, averaging 510 attacks a year in which 338 people were killed.
There has been an alarming increase in farm attacks in the Eastern Cape with an extremely vicious attack taking place in Hankey recently.
Here are some safety tips if you live in a remote area:
- Know your neighbours and maintain good relations with them.
- Know which security services and community-based crime prevention initiatives are available in your area, and know how to reach them in case of an emergency.
- Have the contact details of the security companies, community-based watches, emergency services and the police station, readily available.
- Have alternative means of communication in case the telephone lines and cellular phones are not working.
- Become part of the crime prevention programmes initiated by the South African Police Service, and the community.
- Have sound relationships with all role players involved, and know who to contact in case of an emergency.
- Consider establishing a neighbourhood watch in your area, or become involved in the existing neighbourhood watch.
- Participate in simulation exercises with the South African Police Service to test the effectiveness of the response to incidents.
- Maintain sound safety measures and habits at home, and inform your neighbours, the South African Police Service and the community-based watches of any suspicious behaviour and activities in your area.
- Ensure that all doors (including security and garage doors), are locked at all times, and that windows are closed when you are inside or not at home.
- Keep a register with the details of all persons on the premises, including workers, and do not allow unnecessary access to the premises.
- Regularly clear the area around your house of bushes and clean the premises and all possible hiding places. Lock away all tools and implements.
- Be vigilant and ensure that all persons on the premises, including workers and visitors, are also vigilant and know what to do in case of suspicious behaviour and/or an emergency.
- Do not react blindly to any suspicious activities, especially not at night.
- Do not keep a large sum of cash and/or valuables on the premises.
- Ensure that additional safety measures have been implemented if you are selling any products from the premises.