Now that we are allowed to move about more freely under alert level three, it is important to do a refresher course on how to remain safe while visiting public spaces. The added aspect of this refresher is of course the health measures that one should follow. Lockdown regulations are very explicit about the requirement to wear a mask and to follow other social distancing requirements whenever you visit shopping centres, malls or other busy public spaces.
Public spaces still carry a range of safety challenges that we need to be aware of and need to be prepared for. It is in these public spaces where opportunistic criminals might be looking out for soft, easy targets. This include parking garages, parks, shopping centres, and other places where large groups of people provide easy cover for would-be criminals.
If you need to visit any public spaces during lockdown, the first step to take must be to ensure you are wearing a proper facemask and that you sanitise frequently and as required by health authorities.
Please also take note of the below when it comes to remaining safe from crime:
1. Leave the expensive items such as jewellery at home
2. If you have a daily walking schedule to and from the mall or office, change it often so that your movement does not become predictable
3. If someone stops you to ask for assistance, keep a safe distance away from them and keep an eye for other movement around you
4. Avoid drawing money from an ATM late at night, and if it is urgent rather consider going to an ATM in a well-lit space where a security officer is on duty
5. Leave the headphones at home. Anything that causes distraction is to be avoided.
No one likes to think about crime and about what it can do to you or a loved one. We are all already worried about potentially being infected by the coronavirus which makes health precautions a critical ‘must have’ whenever you go outdoors.