Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Safety in the suburbs
As I was driving back from dropping Dael this morning thoughts of safety crossed my mind.
Dael reminded me to keep myself locked in securely now that I am alone at home during the day. This has been drummed into me since childhood by my mom and I am always conscious of locking myself in. But Dael has been unnerved by the recent death by shooting of a local Matric schoolboy who was killed by robbers who were bent on stealing a vehicle from in front of his family home. He died protecting his father from a bullet. This happened across town from where we live but we live close to the township where most of these vehicles used by the robbers end up abandoned. Beneath the veneer of ordinary life, horrible happenings are carrying on and the perpetrators are people with no respect for human life. The vehicle that was hijacked after this young man was shot was sold on for R3000. That was the value of a young man's life.
Also recently reported is something just as frightening. Parents at local daycare centres are being hijacked as they drop off their little ones at school. These unscrupulous thieves know that the parents are distracted with unloading their precious children and their guard is down. They know the parents will also not do anything to get their children hurt. So they are using this situation to steal cars. In one situation, a teacher snatched the children from the parent's car while the parent was being robbed and hustled them into the school. What a brave woman!
My neighbour's children are collected from their gate and dropped off again at the same time every day in the daycare minibus. The family are never waiting outside for their children and the driver is forced to hoot and wait for someone to come down and collect the children. In those few seconds, that driver could be hijacked and all the children abducted. People are so unaware of the dangers around them. We owe it to ourselves and our children to be more aware and more alert.
My older children are 23 and 20 years old respectively but years ago when both were at preschool, thieves entered the school and were holding up the staff at gunpoint in the presence of the children. This was before all the schools started using security gates and panic buttons to secure their premises. As parents we found out at the end of the school day that the owner of the school had shot dead one intruder in the school in front of the kids. What a shock this was to us but we were grateful that our kids were in the hands of the pistol packing principal. It could have ended so much worse.
Years later the situation has not improved. It has deteriorated. The schools and the scholar transporters are soft targets. Investigate the security of your school and the transporters of your children. Dont be embarrassed or shy to ask about their emergency procedures. You owe it to your loved ones.
And above all be alert!