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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Personal safety - tips on snatch theft prevention

There is an increase in snatch theft cases in major towns and the areas around us. We wish to highlight some information that may be useful to you and your family.

It is not easy to identify snatch thieves or pick pockets. Each visit to crowded place, each 'accidental' bump from someone, each 'innocent' passer-by is a possible addition to the statistics of such theft. The chances of retrieving your possessions may be slim. The hassle is vast, but the prevention is simple.

Prevention

· Avoid carrying excess cash and displaying it in public. Bring just enough for your purpose.
· Use a purse or wallet instead of a big bag (sling or hand carry) best kept in a pocket which can be buttoned.
· If you have to use a sling bag, keep it in front of you so that you can keep an eye on it and hold it close. Make sure it is properly fastened or zipped.

· Do not leave your handbags in your shopping basket or trolley.
· Avoid being at over-crowded places or scrambling with others onto a public transport. Check your wallet or handbag immediately if someone jostles or bumps into you.
· Walk on the opposite direction of the road or against the flow of traffic.
· Avoid being alone in the dark, deserted areas or while taking the lift.
· While driving, do not leave your bags at the passenger seat of your vehicle.
· Keep windows and doors locked as soon as you enter your vehicle. Be wary of people around you, especially strangers.

If you are a victim of snatch theft

· Do not struggle or fight back if the perpetrators are after your personal belongings. Your belongings could be replaced but not your life.
· Attract attention by shouting for help.
· Take note of the appearance, race, license plate number, vehicle model, colour, etc.
· If the perpetrators are still at the scene, immediately leave the location for a safer place.
· Subsequently lodge a police report at the nearest police station and inform your bank and credit card company to have your ATM and credit card cancelled.

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