There are no guarantees of personal safety in any environment. It is incumbent upon each individual to safeguard himself or herself against becoming the victim of a crime.
One of the best ways to maximize your safety and minimize your risk is to follow some very simple security rules.
The police gave us the following tips in the event the robbers manage to enter onto our premises or inside our houses.
1. Robbers typically launch their attacks from the backdoor (normally kitchen doors) because they are usually not fortified. Get good doors for your kitchen. Use crossbars at the back or "burglarproof" behind the doors inside the house. If you have keys to the burglarproof, never leave them inside the lock. Where possible, use a padlock in addition to the keys. The purpose is to make it as difficult as possible for the robbers to enter into the house and to buy you time to call somebody for help.
2. When you hear someone breaking your doors, unless you are absolutely sure your actions will prevent entry into the house, don't try to be a hero by pushing back behind the doors (they may shoot at you through the doors), or putting heavy items like freezers or furniture behind it (they get more angry and when they are able to finally enter they are more likely to be violent).
3. If you sleep without clothes or with minimal clothing, dress up as soon as you hear them. For the women especially, don't stay in your nighties or wrappers, wear trousers and an ugly top.
4. If you call someone on the phone for help, keep the phone far from you as you don't want it to be known that you've done so.
5. Look for your main power switch and plunge the building into darkness (it disorients them and may cause them to run away).
6. If you have a gun, registered or not, use it, but only if you're sure you will do damage. This isn't the time for warning shots! Killing an intruder on your premises in defence of yourself and property is a legitimate legal defence. Same goes for the use of any other weapon e.g. knives.
7. When the robbers manage to enter give them whatever they want. Don't hide anything. Don't try to be a hero or to negotiate with them.
8. Don't look at them directly (or don't let them see you doing so). If you know any of them don't show any signs of recognition and don't mention the person's name. However memorise whatever features you can, to help with identification and investigation.
9. When they finally leave your house do not chase after them..
10. Be your neighbour's keeper and if you hear any break-ins at their house, call the police for assistance.
11. When robbers enter your compound, do not put on any light in your room.Put on the outside lights but keep the inside lights totally off so that the robbers do not see you.