Tips to safeguard yourself
These guidelines are meant to raise awareness and vigilance. Amidst the recent cases of hijackings with children involved, it is very important to know how hijackers operate, how to avoid being hijacked and what to do if you are confronted with a hijacking scenario.
- Be aware of what is happening around you.
- Statistically you are more likely to be hijacked between 16h00 and 20h00, especially on a Friday, and most hijackings occur in the victim’s driveway.
- Prepare yourself mentally and physically for a hijack situation by possibly roleplaying a scenario with your family in such a way that it’s a game, so that your children will react appropriately.
- It is important to realise that there is often nothing you can do other than to cooperate.
- As difficult as it may sound, try and remain calm, as the hijacker will respond according to your reactions.
- Acknowledge the hijacker’s presence, don’t make eye contact and keep your hands visible.
- When you are inside your vehicle with the doors locked you are still in a safe zone, therefore position your child’s car seat on the passenger side of the vehicle so that you can reach back, undo your child’s safety belt and bring them out with you when you exit the vehicle.
- Avoid getting out of the car first and then opening the back doors to get your child out.
- If, for whatever reason, this is unavoidable and you are forced to exit your vehicle while a small child is still strapped to a baby seat, take the car keys with you as a ‘bargaining’ tool.
- If your children are old enough, take the child lock off your vehicle and instruct your children how to undo their safety belts and exit the car and move away to safety.
- At all times, let the hijackers know what you are doing and don’t make any sudden moves.
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