Hijackings at access gates to complexes and estates in South Africa have increased by an alarming 20%. This is according insurer DialDirect. Citing data from the National Hijacking Prevention Academy (NHPA), the insurer said hijackers preferred spots where vehicles were stationary or moving slowly. “As many as 30 000 hijackings have taken place in SA in a single year.”
“The perfect opportunity for a hijacker to pounce is when you stop to key in a PIN at the gate, or try to find your remote or staff access card,” said Marksman’s Nest chief range officer Geoffrey Coetzee. “Now that life has once again returned to some normality, hijackers too are returning to work.
“By far the best way to foil them, is by embarking on a close-quarter defensive training course at Marksman’s Nest.” Here trainees learn how to change and develop their mindset and awareness. “We also cover how to think like a criminal; situational awareness; understanding the concept streetwise; pre-visualisation and practical simulations; muscle memory and stress factors; alertness, decisiveness, aggression, speed, coolness, ruthlessness and surprise.
The most effective line of defence
SAPS crime statistics for 1 October – 31 December 2020 show 4 794 carjackings over the period. At 2,346, Gauteng had the most carjacking cases,, followed by KZN (791) and the Western Cape (708). The most popular targets are sedans and hatchbacks, followed by bakkies and SUVs.
Geoffrey continued, “The first and most effective line of defence is awareness and this is something which should be learnt over and over. Surviving a hijacking is most often a horribly traumatic experience for victims, whether they’re physically harmed or not. That’s why a close-quarter self-defence course is a life-saver.”
Most hijackings take place in people’s driveways, at traffic lights, at post offices, outside schools or when vehicles are stopped on the side of the road. Other prime scenarios are where people are followed from shopping malls or filling stations. More aggressive syndicates will force cars off the road, depending on how desperate they are to get their hands on a vehicle. And research conducted by Arrive Alive indicates that most hijackings occur between 5 and 8pm.
Geoffrey said, “Always adhere to basic safety guidelines, such as keeping your car doors locked and your windows closed. Ensure that no bags, briefcases or valuables are visible. And when approaching traffic lights at night, slow down so that you reach them when they turn green. Otherwise, when stopping behind vehicles in traffic, always leave half a vehicle length in front of you to allow room for an emergency escape.”
More information on the Marksman’s Nest close-quarter defensive training course here.