With hijacking a fact of life in South Africa, it’s become essential to learn anti-hijacking skills. And there’s no better place to equip yourself with the necessary skills than Marksman’s Nest Firearm Training Centre and Shooting Range. Dedicated to achieving confident behaviour, this course provides step-by-step drilled instruction on hijack prevention and increased security awareness.

The objectives include: improving awareness, enabling you to pre-empt a possible attack and avoid it and how to emerge safely from the vehicle in the event of a hijacking.

In the meantime, owner and chief range officer Geoffrey Coetzee provides a few valuable anti-hijacking tips.

Most hijackings take place in the driveways of residential areas. Don’t park the car’s nose in front of the gate. Rather park with two wheels on the grass/pavement and two wheels on the road and wait for the gate to open as this will give you an escape route in the event of a hijacking. When parked in front of the gate, hijackers can box you in from behind.

• Once inside your driveway, close the gate immediately and check to see that it has indeed closed.
• If there’s danger at home, call your dogs: they’re bound to alert you if anything is amiss.
• Heaven forbid, but if you ever do get hijacked in your driveway, get away from the house and run towards the street.
• If you’re driving home and notice a suspicious vehicle following you, slow down to 20 km/ph and put your indicator on as if you’re going to turn into your driveway, but continue to drive past your house. If the car slows down and doesn’t overtake you, you know something is wrong. Drive to the nearest police station.
• If you decide to drive away in the event of a hijacking attempt, make yourself as small as possible by bending down just in case the hijackers shoot at the car.
• If you stop at a robot or stop sign and a car from behind taps your bumper slightly don’t ever stop and get out of the car. Assess how bad you think the damage is and indicate to the car behind you to follow you to a safe place. Hijacking syndicates often use the tap-tap technique to hijack unsuspecting motorists.
• If a car with a blue light attempts to pull you over, you’re allowed to drive to your nearest police station or a public place where you feel safe. Switch on your hazards and indicate with your hand out of the window for the blue light vehicle to follow you.

Surviving is a choice, said Geoffrey. “Anti-hijacking skills don’t come naturally – only good training will help you to respond appropriately in a defensive situation. And that’s why Marksman’s Nest Firearm Training Centre should be your port of call for peace of mind.”

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