Defending against house robberies | South Africa

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Professor Rudolph Zinn and Brigadier Piet Byleveld shed light on how criminals plan and execute a house robbery, and what can be done to prevent this happening to you.

An interesting article we came across highlights some of the measures you can take to protect yourself and since you know how much we love and care about your welbeing, we decided to sumarise and share it with you.

The article explains that in order to prevent a house robbery in South Africa, measures like keeping dogs, installing electric fences, alarms and security sensors, as well as employing an armed response service greatly reduce the risk of you becoming a victim.

This is according to research by professor Rudolph Zinn from UNISA’s School of Criminal Justice and Police Practice who conducted in-depth interviews with 30 perpetrators who were arrested and imprisoned for aggravated robbery.

What Zinn found was that most house robbers were males in their early twenties, and that they would typically work in groups of four.

How criminals select their targets

According to Zinn, criminals select their targets because of wealth. Other demographical factors such as race played no part in the decisions of the perpetrators.

Most chose targets where they had inside information of some sort, often obtained through talking to domestic workers, gardeners, or security guards.

Robbers prefer neighbourhoods that have many entrance and exit points, with easy access to main roads and where street security was low or non-existent.

However, low security was not the biggest factor when selecting a target. Instead, criminals first looked for households with valuable items to steal.

Investigator Brigadier Piet Byleveld said keeping a safe can be particularly attractive to criminals, because they see it as containing high-value items.



Executing a robbery

All those interviewed said they would spend some time before the attack doing surveillance on the targeted residence. They are also aware of the police and security company’s response time, and function within these limits.


How to protect yourself against house robberies

You have to screen all your workers, including domestic workers and gardeners; do background checks in order to see if they have a criminal record and find out why they left their previous job.

Although no sngle security system is sufficient to deter criminals from targeting a house, multiple measures as illustrated on the infograpghic below will help make your home more secure.


You can read the full article here.

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