Hijacking remains a common and terrifying reality in South Africa. Statistics provided by the National Police Commissioner for the third quarter of 2021 showed that a total of 4,973 hijackings were reported in 2021, an increase of 3.5% compared to the same period in 2020.
AURA, the nation’s leading security and medical response marketplace, recently released its first-ever Crime Trends Report which noted hijackings and attempted hijackings as one of the top ten reasons people turned to AURA for help.
With crime on the rise, AURA says the need for better access to inclusive and affordable on-demand emergency services is more urgent than ever.
As hijackers are becoming more sophisticated in their methods, it behooves ordinary citizens to be as vigilant as possible.
AURA’s best anti-hacking tips:
- Know when you are most at risk. Most hijackings happen near or at your home. Peruse your local newspaper and community groups for information about crime in your area. Knowing the typical modus operandi of criminals is invaluable.
- Turn off your car radio when you are ten minutes from home. Become more aware of your surroundings and if vehicles may be following you.
- Trace your route and share it. If you are traveling alone in a new area or alone at night. Share your route plan with a loved one so they know where you are and when you expect to arrive.
- Install a panic button. Many anti-theft and vehicle tracking systems have a panic button (or even an automatic alert) that immediately notifies the relevant parties that you are in trouble. Your local community safety company may also advise you to install one linked to their control room on your cell phone so that help can arrive as soon as possible.
- Keep your surroundings clean. While it’s obvious that you need to keep your driveway clean and tidy and be aware of hiding places near your door, it’s a good idea to make sure the same is true next to it. Talk to your nearest neighbors about any concerns and make a mental note of their cars so you know when to report a suspicious vehicle.
- If you think you are being followed, don’t go home. Drive around your neighborhood, alert your local security company and go to the nearest police station.
- Change your routine. Criminals often study their targets beforehand. If possible, change your routine so that your movements are less predictable.
- Keep calm and stay away from your car. No car is worth your life. Show your hands to your hijackers and follow their instructions. Avoid eye contact and put as much distance as possible between you and the vehicle.
- If you have children in the car, the youngest child should be seated behind the driver and the oldest on the left. Sit your youngest child behind the passenger seat so that you can reach out, undo the car seat buckle and pull your child towards you. Experts recommend that children get out of the car with you through the driver’s door.
Learn more about AURA
AURA is currently South Africa’s premier security and medical response marketplace, gathering and centralizing data from over 170 private security companies before applying AI to dispatch the nearest approved response vehicle to its +250,000 active users.
Born out of the critical need for more efficiency within the South African security industry in order to combat the rising crime rate we all face, AURA achieves this efficiency through smart, disruptive and scalable technology, which creates a WIN-WIN-WIN for all parties involved.
The client receives affordable and efficient services; the security provider increases its revenue and customer base; and AURA fulfills its mission and vision.
AURA is led by a young, entrepreneurial founding team with extensive experience in security and technology.