As the trend of hijacking in Cape Town and South Africa as a whole shows no sign of slowing down, locals are being urged to stay ahead of the trend and be aware of the various methods hijackers use to succeed.
Nearly 50 hijacking incidents take place every day across South Africa, according to SAPS statistics, with Cape Town experiencing as many as six a day.
The majority of these incidents happen close to a place of residence and Cape Town’s ADT Fidelity says knowing what to look out for could save your life and your possessions.
One method being used frequently by criminals in the Cape Town area to hijack victims is the ‘tap tap’ method. With this method, a driver behind you – who is often a female driver, to lower your defence or catch you off guard – will lightly bump the back of your car. Many targeted drivers will then feel the urge to leave their cars and assess the damage – this is when they fall prey to hijacking. Instead, motorists who find this happening to them should drive to a busy place near by to assess their car’s damage.
Fidelity ADT partnered with the National Hijack Prevention Academy to share a few tips on how you can prevent hijacking or be as safe as you possibly can:
1. If you find yourself in a situation where you believe you are being followed on your way home, slow down and switch on your indicator two or three houses early. This could cause the criminals to lose interest or be forced to pass you
2. Always leave your keys in your car should you need to manually open your gate, except in the case of having a small child in the car
3. Only stop if you can see the back wheels of the car in front of you, this allows for more maneuverability
4. Don’t fall for the ‘tap tap’ method
5. Don’t be fooled into thinking you are safer if you stay in a security complex, stay alert and cautious.
What to do if you are successfully hijacked
1. Do not antagonize the hijackers, show you are not a threat and remain calm
2. Lift your arms to show you are not a threat and that you are unarmed
3. Don’t switch your car off and get out slowly
4. Avoid direct eye contact but try to take in what the criminals are wearing and what they sound like, and protect your head with your arms.