Don’t let opportunistic criminals mar your holiday

Following a spate of burglaries in some parts of Plettenberg Bay, local crime fighters have warned residents and visitors to be vigilant - YOLANDÉ STANDER reports

WHEN holidaymakers arrived in a steady stream last month, they were relaxing more than they should, under the circumstances - this according to Lisa Nagel of Plett Watch, who said that there had already been a number of break-ins.
“Our response team was out every night in relays and managed to remove many threats in town and the suburbs, but they do need your [residents’ and visitors’] vigilance to assist.”
She said crime had picked up, as it did every year when holidaymakers arrive for the festive season. “People are under the impression that we are crime-free in Plett. Windows and doors are left open, alarms are not activated and valuables are left in vehicles.
“There has been a spate of break-ins in the vicinity of Church, Breach, Hill and Sydney streets. The Julia Avenue and Challenge Drive area is also vulnerable, as well Cutty Sark, Serica Place and surrounds.
“Robberg Road, Maplin and Entaa areas are also busy. These are all hotspots and they have easy escape routes out of town or into bushes close by.”
Nagel urged readers to be on alert for scouters and to report unusual activity immediately. “Our Constitution allows freedom of movement in public areas, and therefore any potential criminal is protected by this.
“It is difficult to remove a person with these rights and all we can do is to remain aware of their movements. But our properties are private and if they enter, they are trespassing. Our safety as a community is reliant on all of us being vigilant and notifying our neighbours etc. of any unusual activity on or around our properties.”
Ensure that windows and doors are securely locked even if you leave home even for a few minutes.
“Activate your alarm whenever you leave home, and activate alarms zones not in use in your homes. Ensure your doors and windows are locked at night and your alarm is activated before going to bed. Make sure all balcony doors are locked whenever you are not in a room leading onto them.
“Check that your gates are closed at night. Do not leave valuables in your vehicles and ensure that they are parked behind locked gates and not on the pavement outside your house. Don’t leave laundry on washing lines overnight.
“Be aware of unusual noises and activity in your area. Take note of dogs barking as this is often a first warning sign that criminals are moving in the area.”
Nagel finally warned against feeding vagrants: “Rather direct them to the shelter in Marine Way or to the soup kitchens in the various townships.”
Plettenberg Bay police spokesman Captain Marlene Pieterse shared Nagel’s sentiments about vigilance and also urged residents and visitors exploiting the extended school holidays to be crime-wise and not to become complacent.
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