13 ways for women to ward off criminals

Brighton Beach police issues the following helpful hints on how women can avoid becoming crime statistics.

  •  Your elbow is the strongest point in your body – use it to fight off an attack.
  • Carry a whistle with you and ensure you have easy access to it. Short blows of the whistle are sure to attract attention.
  • Your voice is also an excellent alarm system, so scream. Wave your hands in the air to attract attention to yourself.
  • When you are out jogging, focus on your surroundings, do not listen to music with earphones.  Do not walk while texting or talking on your mobile phone. Have a jogging buddy if possible, and avoid jogging after dark, or before sunrise.


run legs

  • If walking home, do so in a group, not alone. If you have to walk home alone, do so on a public road – do not take shortcuts through parks, sports fields or side roads.
  • Always take the elevator instead of stairs, especially at night.
  • Do not give lifts to hitch-hikers, even if it is a woman.
  • Clutch your handbag under your arm with your hand, holding the handles firmly.  Avoid shopping with clutch or long sling handbags. Ensure that the zip part of your handbag faces forward. Don’t leave your handbag unattended inside the food trolley while shopping.


man pickpocketing a purse from woman's bag

  • When withdrawing cash from an ATM, use your body as a cover to prevent anyone from seeing you entering your PIN code. When money is received from the cash dispenser, immediately place it inside your wallet or handbag before leaving the banking hall. Be vigilant about suspicious people  standing around, and do not accept ‘help’ from strangers. If you suspect you are being followed, return to the inside of the mall or report that person to mall security.
  • When travelling by vehicle conduct a thorough pre-trip inspection while in your yard, to prevent being stranded at the roadside, which could result in an attack.


speed car drive transportation background

  • If travelling by vehicle and you suspect you are being followed, travel to a public place or your nearest police station. Always travel with your windows closed and all doors locked. Should you become a victim of a hijacking or abduction and find yourself locked in the boot of a vehicle, kick out the back tail light and stick your arm out the hole and start waving. The driver will not see your actions, but everybody else will.
  • If you should hear a baby crying outside your room window or front door, investigate noises through the window and rather call the police. The same applies should you hear this sound emanate from a nearby bush. If you hear the sound of a baby crying in a dark corner of a parking area, rather call the mall security and do not investigate it by yourself.  Criminals work in teams and you could find a woman claiming to be a ‘victim’ of a crime or who needs ‘help’ is used to draw you in.
  • Do not leave your drink/beverage unattended in a public place.  Do not accept a drink or beverage that is already poured, or where the cap has been removed.

Info courtesy of Brighton Beach SAPS spokesman, Captain Louise Le Roux.

Michellé Izatt
Managing Editor

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