Security Advice on increase in crime
Look out for groups of young men apparently doing nothing, not carrying anything, watching everyone around them. If they suddenly split up and move in your direction, you have just been targeted!
Walk away from the area
If not possible to walk away; go into the nearest shop – stay there and call for help
If possible, avoid carrying a bag during night hours.
Keep valuables out of sight.
Carry only what is necessary.
Smash & grab
Most smash and grab incidents have been reported at dark hours. Exercise caution when driving along the following areas during night hours in Harare: (1) All routes leading to the Airport, (2) Corner Cork rd / 2nd Street (near the South African Embassy), (3) Corner 6th Street / Samora Machel Avenue, (4) Corner Herbert Chitepo / Leopold Takawira, (4) Corner Herbert Chitepo / Mazoe Road, (5) Corner Tongogara Avenue / Sam Nujoma, (6) Corner 4th Street/Herbert Chitepo, (7) Corner 1st Street / Samora Machel Road, (8) Corner Cameroon Street/Robert Mugabe Road and (9) Corner 4th Street /Nelson Mandela and intersections along Borrowdale rd.
You should mitigate the risks of smash and grab by:
Keeping doors locked at all times, open windows to a minimum 2-4 cm.
If you can afford it, laminate your car (personal cars only).
Avoid having valuables visible, lock them in the boot or keep under seats
During dark hours, try to adjust the speed to be able to cross at green light and avoid stopping at red lights.
Please note that criminals (especially armed robbers) are now entering people’s houses during the early part of the night (between 6.30 PM and 9PM) when your alarm system is yet to be activated.
If possible, keep the alarm activated whenever you have retired into the house (even if you are not yet sleeping).
Have proper outdoor lights, to avoid any shade areas, where intruders can hide.
If door hinges are at the outside, thieves simply pull the pin(s) out from the lower part of the door. Wed / tag such doors to fortify them.
If you have subscribed to a rapid-response unit, have the remote button with you. It is recommended to issue a remote control to guards as well.
If employing domestic staff, at least have a copy of the national ID and other personal details
Inform all family members, guards and domestic staff NOT to let anyone inside the compound/premises, unless known to your family or approved by you.
If you have a VHF Radio, teach members of your family how to use it and ensure it is charged at all time.
Please make sure you obtain phone numbers of your nearest police station.
If robbers point a gun or weapon at you or a member of your family, give away your money or valuables. Do not try to fight back; a swift tactic learnt from a James Bond film does not usually work in real life situation.
If you have a safe Haven, ensure you move into it with your family during robberies and call for assistance.
There is an increase in the reported cases of car-jacking:
There are reported cases of robbers following their victims into their residential houses. If you discover a vehicle is following you, do not drive into your compound/premises. Drive to a Police station, hotel, shopping center etc (to a place where there will be many others around you. Use the horn and the head lights to attract attention).
Do not stop if an unknown person asks for a ride. Do not stop if ordered to do so by suspicious persons.
At parking areas you might find an advert placed at your rear window. The trick is, when you get out removing the paper the person drives off your vehicle.
If you have been parking on public parking areas for a longer period, observe the area around your vehicle, check the windows and wheels
During dark hours, ask a guard or colleague from the premises/restaurant/ hotel etc. to escort you to the vehicle
Do not walk alone on secluded spots or foot paths and be careful on who you befriend.
Avoid travelling during the night when your home is far from the bus stop
Beware of fellow passengers who may disembark with you from a bus/kombi, some may have sinister motives.
Avoid leaving your valuables in the care of a stranger when you dash out of a building or bus for a recess.
Please note that your office is not necessarily a theft-proof location.
Do not leave any attractive items in unlocked offices/areas with multiple accesses. If sharing offices, keep valuables with you or in a lockable draw or safe.
Do not keep doors with access pad system open and unattended. Keep office doors closed and/or locked, when the office is unattended. Close and lock after working hours.
Report to the security guards, if non-staff are sighted roaming around the office premises.
If leaving the office with valuables like laptops, PCs etc please make sure you lock them in the boot of your car.
(Some of the information above was obtained from UN DSS circular)