Tips on Staying Safe
The pronouncement by the Government to allow street vending has brought about serious challenges on the security of shoppers. This is also coupled with the problem of street kids.
Here are some safety tips for shoppers around Kitwe city centre.
You should avoid withdrawing money from ATM’s late in the night. Street kids can attack you in the night and rob you of all your cash just a few metres away from the ATM. If you are withdrawing cash at night in an emergency situation, make sure that you have a car waiting for you nearby. Never go to the ATM at night on your own.
You should avoid withdrawing from ATM’s that are positioned in very quiet and isolated places at night.
2. LOCKING YOUR CAR
When you are parking your car at places like the Shoprite car park, or around the Post Office, make sure there is no person leaning against your car. What happens is that the person leaning against your car might wedge something in the way of one of your doors preventing you from locking it with your central locking system.
As you turn your key to lock using your driver’s side, a criminal might wedge a piece of wire or a piece of sharp metal preventing one of your rear doors from locking. They would then open your door to steal from the car after you have left.
You should also avoid putting things like cell phones, laptops, handbags and large envelops on the car seats when you are not inside the car. Displaying such things attracts criminals to open the car to steal from it. They use sharp tools to open the car doors in a short time.
3. STREET BARGAINING
Avoid talking to more than one vendor at a time. A group of Vendors may approach you with items for sale that you have not planned to buy. They may pretend to be competing to sell to you.
Do not fall for such bargains. They are normally from the same group. Their aim is to distract your attention, in order to pick your pockets.
4. STREET GAMBLING
Do not gamble with your money at some common street games such as the well known “AKA RED NAKA BLACK”. You will lose your money. A lot of people who have played such games have lost their hard-earned money. The people who participate in such gambles are always people of the same group.
They will take turns in competing with you until they milk you of all your cash. They will always make you win something at the first attempt in order to entice you to spend more money.
Some body lost part of his salary at such a gambling site near the new bridge that links Buyantanshi Township and Second Class trading area on Dr. Aggrey road.
5. ALLOWING A STRANGER TO USE YOUR PHONE
A stranger might ask you for permission to buy airtime for your phone so that they may use it to call someone else. They will normally promise to buy more credit than they will use.
Do not accept such offers. Some people may use your phone to commit a crime. The police may implicate you in their investigations if it is found that your phone number was used to commit a crime.
Never allow a stranger on the street to make a call on your phone. Somebody was arrested for a crime he did not commit.
He allowed some other person to use his phone only to learn later that the call to commit a crime was made on his phone.
6. BUYING A USED PHONE ON THE STREET
Do not buy phones from the street even if they look as good as new. People change phone faces to make phones look new. You might buy a stolen phone which is under investigation.
You are not even in a position to know or even find the person who sold you the phone. You would languish in the remand prison for until the investigation clears you.
Do not put cash in your breast pocket, especially in a white shirt or other see-through pocket. Exposing your cash may make you vulnerable.
The list here is not exhaustive, but from my observation these are some of the most common issues in street crime.