The holiday season is finally here, with scores of South Africans preparing to embark on their annual summer holidays.
However, as Newcastillians brace themselves for an epic summer adventure, breaking away from their usual routines, the Newcastle SAPS is encouraging residents to practice constant vigilance as the criminal element prepares to up its game during the festive season.
To avoid being targeted by dastardly fiends, the Newcastle SAPS highlights precautionary steps to adhere to this festive season.
These steps include:
- Do not hitchhike, as it is extremely dangerous, especially on the N11.
- Be crime conscious and be constantly aware of your surroundings and the people around you.
- Avoid going onto a congested street, as criminals take advantage of crowds and pickpocket people.
- Always use well-lit streets and avoid using your phone in public.
- Never leave your bag or purse in the trolley which you are using.
- Don’t ever leave your bag or wallet on a shop counter, not even momentarily.
- Shoppers are urged to hold tightly on their bags and avoid putting their wallets in the back pocket of their pants.
When going out:
- Stay in a group, as there is safety in numbers.
- Try to park in well-lit areas and try to ensure you walk with someone to and from your care at night.
- Don’t ever offer or accept a ride from someone you have just met.
- Avoid carrying large amounts of cash with you in public.
- Always ensure your car has enough fuel before going out.
- When travelling, be sure to lock your car’s doors and avoid leaving the windows open.
- Never leave your car’s doors unlocked, even if you are only leaving it alone for a minute,
- Avoid stopping in remote places.
Safety tips to minimise burglaries
- Don’t leave your house’s windows or doors open.
- Never leave keys in the lock, gate or under a mat, pot plant or in the post box.
- Keep cash and valuables in your respective bank or in a safe
- Leave the house lights on when you expect to be home late, as good lighting can deter a thief
- Install a burglar alarm
Furthermore, while taking precautionary steps to safeguard yourself and your home this festive season, it is also of the utmost importance to ensure your pets remain safe this holiday.
With fireworks forming an instrumental part of the festive season celebrations, the Newcastle SPCA says pet owners can follow a series of steps to alleviate their pets’ fears and distress in the upcoming season.
By following the following steps, you can protect and keep your beloved pet safe:
- If your pet reacts badly to fireworks, seek assistance from your veterinarian.
- Ensure your pets have identification tags in case they escape from your yard.
- Keep your pets indoors when fireworks are being let off.
- Try to stay at home with your pets, so they do not have to be alone and afraid.
- Keep your dog or cat distracted by putting familiar items around them, such as toys and baskets. Giving your dog a bone or giving your cat some catnip can also help distract them from the noise.
If you are going away for a duration of time and have pets, the SPCA explains it is of the utmost importance to ensure you take the necessary steps to keep them safe during the time you will be away.
If you take your pet with you, the SPCA encourages pet owners to take the following steps:
- Ensure your pet has a cool place in the vehicle. This does not include the boot.
- Make sure you have enough drinking water for the duration of the journey.
- Ensure your cat’s carrier-cage is big enough that they don’t have to lie in their own urine or faeces.
- Make sure you have a leash on hand for your dog, so you can stop at regular intervals for them to relieve themselves.
One of the biggest concerns about travelling with pets; is that it can be stressful. Therefore, the Newcastle SPCA encourages pet owners to make use of a trusted house and pet sitters.
The SPCA also has boarding facilities for pet owners to use when they go away on holiday and don’t have a trusted house and pet sitter.
As dogs and cats are used to bonding solely with their human family, there is a chance that they might attempt to run away when left at home. By using the boarding facilities at the SPCA, pet owners can rest assured their pets are cared for.
For more information on making use of the SPCA’s boarding facilities this December, be sure to contact the SPCA on 034 318 2346.
From following the safety tips by the police to adhering to the SPCA’s tips, be sure to have an awesome holiday this December.