How to handle a security situation

What to do during an armed robbery

The likelihood of an armed robbery turning violent at places like a shopping centre, store, warehouse, factory, distribution centre, etc., (which may result in injuries to personnel and customers) can be effectively reducedby the behaviour of the victims.

  • DONT RESIST THE ROBBERS. Do exactly as you are told. The robbers are in control of the situation because they are armed, and it serves no purpose to resist their instructions – you will only be putting lives at risk.
  • RELAX. Regulate your breathing, taking long, slow deliberate breaths. This slows your heart rate, and helps you to relax.
  • SPEAK SLOWLY. Don’t shout or raise your voice to the robbers. They are probably more nervous than you and it won’t take much for them to lose any self-control.
  • DON’T MAKE ANY SUDDEN MOVEMENTS. When you want to do something – even if it is upon instruction from the robber
    • Tell them what you are doing. For example: “I am going to take the keys out of my pocket now”
    • And then proceed slowly
  • DON’T SET OFF THE SIREN. Activate any alarms only if you can do so secretly and/or without being seen. Many armed robberies have turned violent (with hostages taken) because the audible siren puts the robbers into a panic.
  • DON’T LOOK THE ROBBER DIRECTLY IN THE FACE. The robber may believe that you are trying to memorise their features for later identification and this could lead to a violent reaction.
  • GIVE THE ROBBERS TIME TO LEAVE. Don’t shout or do anything else until the robbers have left the premises.
  • DON’T TRY TO BE A HERO. Don’t attempt to prevent the robbers’ get-away. Many armed robberies have turned violent as the robbers are leaving, resulting in deaths and injuries to staff and customers.
  • REPORT THE INCIDENT TO THE SAPS. Unless a theft, robbery or incident is reported to SAPS and a case opened – it didn’t happen.
  • Comply with a robber’s demands. Remain calm and think clearly. Make mental notes of the robber’s physical description and other observations important to law enforcement officers.
  • If you have a silent alarm and can reach it without being noticed, use it. Otherwise, wait until the robber leaves.
  • Be careful, most robbers are just as nervous as you are

How to survive a hijacking situation

  • If confronted by hijackers, the aim is to survive the crime
  • Accept that you are going to lose your vehicle
  • Do not lose your cool and do not threaten or challenge the hijacker
  • Do exactly as told by the hijackers
  • Surrender your vehicle and move away. Remember property can be replaced. Lives cannot.
  • Don’t reach for your purse or valuables. This may threaten the hijackers and you may get hurt.