While no one is exempt from falling victim to crime, certain groupings within our society – including children, the elderly and people living with disabilities – are at even greater risk as result of their inherent vulnerability.

Atlas Security Operations Manager, Monty Montgomery, says criminals are experts at identifying and exploiting soft targets. “We have recently seen an increase in violent crimes against the elderly. When these atrocities occur, media coverage often sparks wide spread public outcry. But, merely displaying disapproval for these senseless acts is not enough. We must help, and the best way in which to do this, is to educate.”

Following a recent attack at a Port Elizabeth home for the aged, Monty and his team conducted a safety workshop at the facility on Thursday afternoon. “We addressed more than 250 people and shared vital safety and security information. We also came up with affordable options for the residents to have access to panic buttons. This offer has been received with gratitude and residents are blessed with financial support from various corporates, PE residents and Atlas Security clients.”

He says although our elderly is scared, many of them are fortunately acutely aware of the fact that they must do as much as is humanely possible in order to protect themselves from falling victim to crime.”

He says education remains a key element of crime prevention. “The fight against crime is on-going and it is impossible to be over educated where crime prevention is concerned. It is also important to note that nobody is ever too young or too old to learn how to best safeguard themselves against criminal onslaught.”

Monty advises people who fall outside of the apparent “vulnerable” groupings to never become complacent or view themselves as somehow being untouchable. “Someone may be physically strong, fit and healthy and even be highly skilled in a self-defence discipline, yet the shortest lapse in awareness of their surroundings could render them a soft and easy target.”

He says using a cell phone greatly diminishes awareness of one’s surroundings. “We all know we should not use our cell phones while driving, but people may not realise that being pre-occupied with a cell phone while being out and about, drastically increases the possibility of falling victim to opportunistic criminals. We must always be 100% alert and aware of our surroundings. Whether we are driving, shopping walking, jogging or dining in a restaurant, we must always be vigilant and letting our guard down is not an option.”

Monty reminds people to inform the control room of any holiday instructions. “Should you or any of your key holders be leaving the Metro during the holidays, remember to call our control room in advance on 0861 585 585 to have holiday instructions added to your profile.”

Stay safe and rest assured that your world is secure in Atlas’ hands.