Residents get tips to fight crime by a local NPO

RAG wants you to report any suspicious activity in the area to help alleviate crime.

NPO Residents Action Group (RAG) is calling on residents to help fight crime by reporting any suspicious activity.
Following a recent armed robbery incident on Douglas Road in Bedfordview, the value of having a vigilant and proactive community in crime prevention was highlighted.

This is according to Mark Morris, the general manager of RAG.
The initial alert regarding the robbery came from a resident residing on the same road, who, along with contractors working at her home, noticed suspicious activities outside.
Morris commended this quick-thinking, attentive resident and the alert contractors on her property.

Three of the four armed robbers were successfully apprehended by RAG and the other security role players who responded to the alert.
He added that residents should not hesitate to contact RAG, their security service provider, the BCPF or SAPS to report suspicious activity.

Tips on how to spot suspicious activity according to RAG:

• Strangers loitering in your neighbourhood: If a stranger is on your neighbour’s property, without any signs of the homeowner, this is suspicious behaviour.

Even a person standing outside a home or near the driveway for extended periods, looking around aimlessly or looking at their cellphone, could be a criminal, an accomplice or a lookout.

Research shows that criminals will often watch a home for as long as two weeks before striking, to understand the residents’ habits and movements.
• Strangers peering into cars or windows: Take note of and report a basic description of the suspects with the details and location.

For example, are they male or female, tall or short, slim or overweight?

What type of clothing are they wearing and what colour?

• Strangers in a parked vehicle for an extended period or driving around aimlessly or repeatedly: Criminals usually observe a target before acting.

They may drive past a property repeatedly to take note of the residents’ activity, or they may park close to the home to study routines.

Take note of their appearance, the vehicle make and model, colour and license plate a partial registration number can help as well.
• Strange noises: Burglars may use forced entry to gain access into a home by smashing a window or even breaking down a door.

Call in unusual noises from your neighbours or homes nearby, including glass breaking, loud thumps or bangs, shouts or screaming, an alarm going off, or dogs barking.

• People going from door to door without proper identification: When planning a robbery, criminals may knock on doors posing as people in need, as salespeople, municipal workers, construction workers, service providers or even religious groups.

They may be checking if anyone is home or trying to gain access by pretending to have a legitimate reason.
RAG can be contacted in the 24-hour control room by calling 011 455 7022 or 082 322 3333.