This week Monty ends off the working year by reminding readers to have a safe festive season. Remember all the crime warnings and the types of crimes taking place in the metro.

In some cases, we have made great progress with the help from the community. We have even managed to keep home invasions to a minimum. Many residents have pressed their panic buttons when they heard noises coming from their neighbours’ homes. This has prevented large crimes from unfolding. Most thwarted burglaries or attacks are stopped by a good neighbour. Get to know your neighbours; watch out for them and their home, and they will do the same for you. Set up or join your neighbourhood watch program, where everyone takes turns checking in on one another. Additionally, good neighbours can help when you go on vacation: regularly picking up mail and newspapers, is a great way to make it seem like someone is home. One of the best ways to be protected in your home is to know that somebody else is watching out for you. Getting to know your neighbours is a great way to make sure that happens.

Monty wants to remind the readers, once again, to be aware when arriving and leaving your home. This rule also applies to shopping malls and to your workplace. Criminals are watching and waiting to pounce. You may have noticed that armed robberies have increased.

Another reminder: do not conduct your business alone – especially when opening and closing your business and home. Always ensure that you have an extra set of eyes and ears alongside you. It is a good idea to have a panic button handy for scenarios where you may be approached by criminals. Monty uses the example of arriving at home: press your panic when you see danger in your driveway. By entertaining strangers at your house you could land yourself in danger.

Monty warns readers to be extra careful at traffic intersections. Many robberies and hijackings take place at intersections. Be safe, look around and watch your distance. Should danger approach, get attention from other cars by hooting and making a noise.

When shopping, be aware of your surroundings. Monty mentions that robberies do increase at shops around this time of the year, so make sure you know what to do should something happen.

Lastly, Monty urges readers who stay near schools to keep a watchful eye. Report any suspicious activity because thieves tend to target school mini busses during the holiday season.

Take care if you are about to go on leave and make sure that before you leave to go away on holiday that your alarm is in working order, that all you exits and entrances are secure and windows are closed. You should also update your keyholder information with our Control Room if you are planning to go away.

Until next week, stay safe.