How to remain safe and secure in isolated areas

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.

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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.

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