Be aware of your surroundings, says CPS

11 August 2004

According to Campus Protection Services (CPS), the best way to prevent a crime is to be aware of your surroundings and particularly the people in your environment.

"Criminals rely on the community being indifferent and minding their own business," said CPS operations manager Vincent Ricketts. "In an attempt to prevent muggings we would encourage staff and students to take precautions to reduce the opportunity afforded to criminals."

Ricketts recommends walking in groups, especially at night, and making use of the Blue Safe Walk when walking on university property.

"This has the advantage of being close to the emergency phones and the area is monitored by surveillance cameras," he added. "Also avoid walking in dark and deserted areas and stay away from so-called short cuts."

Staff and students are reminded that CPS are available after hours to accompany them from places of learning to their vehicles or residences.

If you are being followed, try to make your way to the nearest place of safety, says Ricketts. He also suggests keeping CPS's emergency contact numbers on speed dial in your cell phone.

"Should you become a victim of such a crime, do not resist as these criminals may be dangerous. But try to get a description of the suspects and report the incident immediately to CPS as it might help to facilitate the apprehension of the suspects."

CPS have received enquiries from concerned students following the kidnapping and murder of Johannesburg student Leigh Matthews.

"We acknowledge these concerns but would like to point out that it appears to be an isolated incident," explained Ricketts. "We would urge residence students to inform their friends and residence managers if they will not be returning to their rooms at night. And carrying identity cards is all-important as our regular checks and road blocks will enable us to identify loiterers."

CPS can be contacted on their 24-hour hotline number 650 2222/3.

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