This week, Monty Montgomery, Atlas Operations Manager, expressed grave concern regarding criminal activities currently taking place in townhouses. There have been far too many incidents over the past few days.

Monty highlights certain actions that townhouse residents are doing wrong (and residential homeowners) which makes them a target:

– Leaving keys in doors
– Leaving doors, gates and garages unlocked
– Where you leave your keys

Monty again reminds residents of the latest crime trend where criminals are targeting townhouse complexes. The burglaries are exceptionally high at the moment and we are finding that criminals are moving from one complex to the other. They even targeted three units on the same night. Monty issues a reminder to owners to always arm their alarms and any valuables in their yards or lapa areas to be locked away. Be extremely vigilant and keep a look out for your neighbours.

He reiterates that readers should secure their first line of defence – perimeter gates, locks and doors. He finds that garages are also becoming a soft target. Monty continues that another frequent occurrence is criminals breaking into non alarmed areas – being ceilings, bathrooms, porches, garages and interleading doors. The criminals tend to hang around in that area to plan their next move. What he’s emphasizing is – if entry is gained into an area that’s not protected, always make sure that you have protection in place in an area where the criminals will next move to.

Crime is always on the move, therefore Monty warns to be alert even when putting out your garbage. This simple act can put your life at risk if you’re not careful. Remember the criminals are watching you. Secondly, Monty requests parents to be careful of the kind of articles they’re throwing away. Recently a suspect was caught with a toy gun in Walmer Downs. He claimed that he found the toy gun in the black bags.

A very important matter Monty touches on is how often you test all your panic buttons? Are they all in working order? When last did you change the batteries in your remote panic button? Secondly, make sure you have both an audible and silent panic button/facility. This is relevant for residential and businesses. In a life threatening situation, it’s always good to have a silent panic. If you intend to scare off people before they’ve entered your property, an audible panic will do.

Lastly, Monty pleads with the public to join their local neighbourhood watch groups. Monty has previously highlighted the importance and strength of community neighbourhood watches. These are organized groups of civilians devoted to crime and vandalism prevention within a neighbourhood. This is one of the most effective ways to reduce crime and cut anti-social behaviour in areas. These groups work in conjunction with private security companies like Atlas and the local SAPS.

Neighbourhood watches have been of great help in identifying shortcomings in areas. They are excellent at highlighting problems that we can sort out and brought under control. Monty is grateful that it has enabled Security companies and the SAPS to minimize unnecessary calls-outs, eg. nudging suspicious people out of areas. They also provide great visibility in their particular neighbourhood and result in more eyes and ears on the ground.

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