Village Talk - 4 May 2016
Houses are being targeted by criminals both on foot and in vehicles. There have recently been numerous reports about intruders on foot. These are opportunistic criminals that are brazen enough to chance their luck by coming onto premises to see what they can make off with.
Criminals in vehicles are targeting gate motor batteries and then driving off. Gates being derailed is still prevalent and when the criminals have made it onto the premises, they are bashing front or back doors down and then making it into and out of the house in a couple of minutes. It is advisable to have an alarm that triggers on the gate as well as gated main doors to the house, as this does slow down the entry time onto the premises and into the house.
In a recent attempted burglary (20h00) a man came to the assistance of his neighbour and was shot at by the criminals. Three shots were fired and fortunately missed the man. Please be aware that many criminals these days are armed and it is best to call for assistance if you are not sure about a situation.
Businesses are being targeted separately and the modus operandi recently has been as follows: The attacks and break-ins occur just after working hours when most of the employees have left the premises. There may be one or two people left on the premises that are working late, and they become the targets of the crime. You need to ensure that the business premises are locked properly and that you have some safety protocol in place for staff that are working late. There was one incident in Hilton and one in Howick over the past 2 weeks.
There has been an increase in people posing as something they are NOT. I got a report from a Greendale Park resident that stated “On Thursday afternoon 29 April we had another visit of 4 Indian males from Durban asking if we wanted to sell our Toyota vehicles for cash. We did not allow them onto the property and asked them to leave. They were driving a small, old, light blue Toyota with a number plate NU 51072. They have been in our area twice before and every time somebody has had a vehicle stolen or tampered with. We live in the Greendale area. Would you warn people to be aware of them and not to allow them through their gates”.
Another client called in and advised that some black males had come to his house and claimed to be from Samsung and had a TV to deliver for the neighbour. The men claimed no one was answering at the house and requested the domestic worker to open up and accept the delivery of the TV. The client tried to contact his neighbour to advise him of the matter. He could not get a hold of him, so informed the domestic worker to deny them access. It was later confirmed that the neighbour was NOT awaiting any delivery and that it was possibly a tactic to get into the premises.
Department of Labour warns of conman masquerading as labour inspector in KwaZulu-Natal
The Department of Labour cautions employers, stakeholders and members of the public of a conman masquerading as a labour inspector who subsequently conducts impromptu inspections and requests monies to be transferred into his account. The warning follows a complaint by an employer in Howick. The complainant became suspicious and contacted the Department, who confirmed the man did not work for the Department.
The Department categorically states that all employers, stakeholders and members of the public are strongly warned of this scam and urged to contact their nearest labour centre to verify any inspectors' credentials. Labour inspectors always carry their identity cards, which bears their details and photo and the card is produced prior to the inspection. The Provincial Communication Office can be contacted on 031 366 2018.
I have now experienced this myself three times over the past fortnight. DO NOT give any information to ANYONE over the phone. A suggestion is to ask the person for their name, ID number and who they work for. Tell them that you would like to follow up with the company that they work for. Turn the tables on them and try get their details.
Update your information with KSS
KSS and Emergency services
Please remember that the Knight Security Solutions (KSS) Control Centre is manned 24/7/365. Our staff are competent and trained to handle ALL emergencies. We have just assisted with yet another house that burned down on Monday 2 May in Hilton. I can’t thank my staff enough for the way in which they handled it.
The KSS Control Centre can assist with any emergency in the Midlands (including PMB). Recently KSS got a call from a client in PMB who has just seen a child get knocked over by a car. He didn’t know what to do, so he called our Control Centre and we were able to dispatch an ambulance to the scene.
KSS are able to help with all criminal activities as well as medical emergencies by dispatching ambulance services, the fire brigade, SAPS etc…. Please put our KSS Control Centre number on speed dial on your phone…. 033 3305911.
Ensure that you have emergency contact details available. You can call the KSS Control Centre on 033 3305911 and they will co-ordinate emergency services for you.
1. Make sure you have a safe fire escape method
You may have a very expensive home security system, but you need to ensure that you have an escape plan from the burning structure if necessary.
2. Heaters Need Space
Keep portable heaters at least 2 meters from anything that may burn. Never leave heaters on when you leave home or go to sleep. Children and pets should always be kept away from them.
3. Be Careful Cooking
Keep cooking areas clear of combustibles. Always watch any pots with oil in them. If oil catches fire, carefully slide a lid over the pan and smother the flames. Turn off the stove.
Always watch a fire that you have made in the fireplace. When you go to bed at night, ensure that the burning embers are properly extinguished by throwing water onto them.
5. Use Electricity Safely
If an appliance smokes or has an unusual smell, unplug it immediately and have it repaired. Replace frayed or cracked electrical cords and don't overload extension cords. They should not be run under rugs. Never tamper with the fuse box or use the improper size fuse. Get assistance or advice from a qualified electrician.
6. Fire Extinguishers
Have accessible fire extinguishers in your house. Make sure they are serviced annually.
You can prepare by doing the following:
• Practice evacuating the building/house blindfolded. In a real fire situation, the amount of smoke generated by a fire most likely will make it difficult to see.
• Practice staying low to the ground when escaping.
• Feel all doors before opening them. If a door is hot, get out another way.
• Learn to stop, drop to the ground and roll if your clothes catch fire.
Mediclinic Howick (24 Hour Emergency Centre)
Mediclinic Howick is a community hospital offering state of the art services across a number of specialities. They are relentlessly focused on providing safe clinical care and ensuring that each patient and their family have a superior experience while in their facility.
The hospital continues to enjoy the support of a number of leading specialists from both Howick and Pietermaritzburg. They are also privileged to have excellent support from the general practitioners in the town.
The emergency centre is open 24 hours a day and has the support of local, well trained emergency doctors. The contact number for Mediclinic Howick is 033 330 2456.
SA CAN update
Please be advised that the SA CAN head office is located in Gillits (Hillcrest) and they can be contacted on their Admin number 0861623646 during office hours, to assist with any App, financial and membership related queries. SA CAN is available 24/7/365 on their emergency line which is 0861672226. The newly launched “Bull Horns Panic Button” App is available free of charge at the iPhone App Store or Android Play Store – for smart phones. It is easy to install and you can do it yourself. Should you need assistance then please call SA CAN on their Admin number.
On an end note…
Another huge plus for our KSS clients and the community is that Knight has been in Howick, Merrivale and Hilton for over 26 years. We know the Midlands - we know these areas well. We know what your needs are. When you have an issue – you know who you are dealing with. Gary and I are on the ground and are very ‘hands-on’ in our business. There are not many Security Companies out there where you can personally contact the owners for advice, or to voice a concern so that we can deal with it.
KSS also have an amazing team of staff of over 260 people. We all work well together and are dedicated to making a difference. A big thank you our Managers, Assistant Managers, Financial and Accounts staff, Administrative staff, Operations staff, Technical staff, Control Centre staff and our Security Officers. They work tirelessly, often behind the scenes, to ensure your safety.