Last year’s festive season saw more than 1,400 people suspected to be lawbreakers languishing in various police cells. According to a police report, the said suspects were arrested between December 23 and December 25, 2017 over their alleged involvement in crime.
About 20 days ago, in what security called a cleanup in Kampala city ahead of the festive season, security operatives where reported to have arrested more than 200 suspected criminals. As you prepare for the festive holiday, here is what you can do to stay safe.
Social media posts
Vanitah Nabbanja a resident of Kansanga Kiwempe zone advises that you should make sure there is someone at home every time you move out. She says burglars tend to stalk their victims on social media to track your locations and activities.
“Criminals are always among us so they will track you using your platforms, where you are so a social media update or post can let you down” Nabbanja explains
She adds that most criminals target their victims through posts seeking information on where they are, where they will party and which church events they will attend or when they plan to leave their homes for Christmas shopping or vacation. Nabbanja argues that the information you choose to post online can be used against you and therefore, take care not to post about your plans during this festive season.
Harriet Najjuma, a home owner in Makindye Division, suggests that people who have a tendency of going live on their social media platforms may end up in ruins because it gives a chance to the burglar to know how much time you will spend at an event and how much time in would take you to reach home in case of an alarm.
Make sure your home is well-lit. For those planning to spend their time away from home, lights expert Annet Alitusabira and the proprietor of Crystal Euro LED lightings, explains that thieves and burglars love operating under the protection of darkness to acquire low visibility so she asks that one needs to make sure that the home should be well-lit.
“If your house is well-lit, the chances of theft taking place at home are reduced. Make sure you have floodlights or motion activated lighting around the exterior of your home.” Alitusabira
She emphasises that those who have security lights outside opt for lights with motion sensors . These detect movement around a certain perimeter and go off or make an alarm.
Bwagu Shaban Juma a security officer advises that it is important for people who can afford to instal security cameras.
Doors, windows and keys
“Before someone leaves home he should consider that the windows and doors are perfectly locked and intact.”
Kasule says burglars know to look for hidden keys so do not hide spare keys under door mats, flowerpots, or above door ledges.
He says instead give the spare key to family or trusted neighbour.
Kasule notes that one should also consider that tools like hoes , iron bars, logs or ladders that could be used to force entry into your home are not left lying around.
Garages are often targets for burglars looking for tools, bikes and gardening equipment. Therefore, make sure the garage is secure and your possessions are secured too in the case of bikes and tools.
Police spokesperson Emillian Kayima agrees that this festive season many people tend to go out and only to come home and get shocked by what they find. Kayima insists that people must take precautions including leaving only trusted people at home to take care of the house.
“It’s important to ensure that lighting is effective as lights ward off potential criminals. Thirdly, invest in the Neighbourhood Watch Scheme where neighbors take care of each other’s home to keep away criminals or catch them in case they attack,” Kayima.
He adds that those who can afford should instal and activate their CCTV cameras, strong doors and windows with good locks.
Finally Kayima asks the public to keep in touch with the local police and fully make use of the police telephone numbers.
“ It should be known that vigilance is a must if we must keep criminals in check. Equally, Ugandans must remember that they have to take responsibility for their safety and security. Some go out to have fun and share with everyone who cares to read all information about where they are and with whom they are. They risk being tracked, followed and robbed.” Emillian Kayima.