Level three of lockdown kicks off on the 1st of June and there are certainly one or two items on the “things we’re allowed to do” list that has us jumping for joy. An easing in restrictions on outdoor exercise means that residents will be allowed to exercise any time during the day, provided that this is not done in groups. So how does one venture out safely under level three regulations? Well, we’ve compiled a list of seven simple safety measures that you can follow to reduce the risk of falling victim to muggers.
1. Remember to be completely aware of your surroundings. Whether you are running, jogging, or just taking a Sunday stroll, keep your head up and your eyes and ears open. It is not recommended that you listen to music whilst exercising as it impedes your ability to detect not only other people but traffic too.
2. If you are alert of your surroundings you should be able to detect whether or not you are being followed. If you feel like you are being followed by another pedestrian walk to a public place such as a mall or the nearest police station. Remember to always walk on the side of the street that faces traffic, however, if you feel like you are being followed by a vehicle, never try to outrun them, rather turn around and go in the other direction.
3. Get security on the go with our Blue Mobile Panic App. Having the panic button seconds within reach means we’re only a couple minutes behind at all times, should you ever feel unsafe.
4. Walk in an assertive, confident manner, making eye contact with the people around you. Learn to identify suspicious behaviour and steer clear of strangers who appear to be up to no good. Remember, we should be practicing social distancing, so don’t feel guilty for crossing the road when you see people coming your way!
5. Plan your route before you go out, ensure that you stick to well-lit areas, and avoid short cuts through deserted parks and other areas. Although we are now allowed to exercise during any time of day, try to go when the sun is still out and remember that as Winter approaches it will begin to get darker much earlier in the day.
6. Although you are not allowed to exercise in groups, this doesn’t mean you have to venture out entirely alone. Go for your daily run or walk with another member of your household, but ensure that you maintain the recommended social distance of 1.5m. If you must venture out alone, inform a loved one of the route you will be taking and when to expect you back.
7. Carry only what you would need in an emergency and keep any valuables out of sight. Walking around on your cellphone and carrying your wallet in your back pocket make you an easy target for muggers. If you are carrying a bag, wear it diagonally across your body rather than on one shoulder as this makes it easier for muggers to snatch the bag and run.
The initial stages of lockdown may have seen a decrease in crime across the board, but as we “level up” and regulations ease up we can expect the same stats to climb again and possibly skyrocket in a post-lockdown South Africa. Remember to always be vigilant, practice caution, and keep yourself and your loved ones informed on the latest measures to stay safe as we resurface from staying home.