Hi­jack­ings rise while driv­ers sani­tise

Cape Argus - - METRO - SUKAINA ISHMAIL sukaina.ishmail@inl.co.za

MO­TORISTS are en­cour­aged to be more vig­i­lant while they fo­cus on sani­tis­ing them­selves when get­ting into a ve­hi­cle as hi­jack­ers could be tar­get­ing them.

The na­tional crime sta­tis­tics for the 2019/2020 pe­riod in­di­cate a 13.3% in­crease in car hi­jack­ings and 1.7% in­crease truck hi­jack­ings. Be­tween April 1 last year and March 31 this year, 18 162 mo­torists were hi­jacked and 1 202 trucks were hi­jacked.

MasterDriv­e manag­ing di­rec­tor Eu­gene Her­bert said driv­ers were to take cog­ni­sance of these sta­tis­tics be­cause it was par­tic­u­larly con­cern­ing in the Covid-19 en­vi­ron­ment.

“Crime is only ex­pected to get worse as the un­em­ploy­ment rate grows. Job losses and few new op­por­tu­ni­ties may re­sult in peo­ple be­com­ing des­per­ate for an al­ter­na­tive source of in­come that some may take,” he said.

Her­bert said even though peo­ple were al­ready ex­pected to be vig­i­lant on the road, they could still fall prey dur­ing this pe­riod as peo­ple fo­cus on sani­tis­ing their hands and ve­hi­cle when they climb into their cars, rather than driv­ing off as soon as pos­si­ble.

“Lock­down may re­sult in peo­ple be­com­ing care­less and com­pla­cent. Dur­ing the com­ing months, how­ever, we strongly ad­vise mo­torists to step up their vig­i­lance,” he said.

South Africans Against Drunk Driv­ing di­rec­tor Caro Smit said: “Peo­ple need to look around them be­fore get­ting into their ve­hi­cle, and doors need to be locked im­me­di­ately, es­pe­cially when one is go­ing to sani­tise.”

Smit said it was im­por­tant to check for any sus­pi­cious peo­ple near one’s ve­hi­cle.

Naked In­surance co-founder Ernest North said: “It’s wor­ry­ing to see a rise in car­jack­ing and the threat re­mains high.”

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