This week, Monty Montgomery, Atlas Operations Manager, reminds all the readers that we are in full swing of the silly season.

As we are counting down the days until Christmas, crime is simply increasing and is the order of the day. Members of the public are being followed from the bank after withdrawing cash. Wheels are being stolen from motor vehicles. Thieves are breaking into motor vehicles – as well as stealing vehicles.

On a very serious note, Monty warns that armed robberies are too high for his liking. Security personnel are still being targeted for their firearms – even homeowners are being targeted for their firearms. Recently, a homeowner lost three of his firearms during a burglary. Therefore, all armed security and police officials are warned to be careful of hostage situations. Criminals are on the hunt for firearms. Residents are also reminded to safeguard their firearms at home.

Monty cautions that the front-door kicking gang is still out there targeting vulnerable homes. This is happening throughout Uitenhage, Despatch and Port Elizabeth with Plasma TVs and laptops being at the top of their list.

Sadly, Monty shares that home invasions are still very real and are constantly taking place. He has noticed that it is as if the criminals are constantly on the lookout for ways to enrich themselves. It is imperative that the public remain one step ahead of these criminals.

Another concerning occurrence is the number of people being followed home from small gambling centres. More and more people are being robbed the minute they arrive at home from a gambling institution. Again, this is taking place in Port Elizabeth and Uitenhage. Monty urges readers to never drop their guard.

He urges residents to look out for each other by always doing everything in groups, i.e. go in groups to the shopping malls, bank, petrol station etc. The more eyes and ears there are – the safer you’ll be. Watch your handbags, wallets and cell phones closely at all times.

Remember – do not leave family members, especially children, alone in parked vehicles. Criminals are aware of this and find it easy to rob the occupants. For example, do not leave your teenager in the vehicle with your handbag. Robbers love this as they are easy targets.

In short, Monty recaps: to ensure that we get through this crazy period safely – we urge all readers to be aware. Always arm your alarms. Take care when shopping with your kids. In general – look after yourself, your loved ones – and even strangers.

To end off this week, Monty reminds holiday goers to ensure that their alarms are in a working condition before leaving for their holday. They should ensure that they have a trustworthy dedicated key holder to check on their house on a daily basis.

After a burglary, Monty urges residents, business owners and key holders to come out to the scene as quick as possible. This is to ensure the safety of your goods and allows the Response Officers to attend to other emergencies. Family members and employees come and go, so make sure your key holder details are updated on our system. Whoever is looking after your home must be in town, know about your burglar alarm procedure and their responsibilities as a key holder.

For more information please contact our Control Centre on 0861 585 585 or email info@atlas24.co.za .

Until next week, stay safe.