1. Awareness

Security and safety starts long before it has to be responsive. The best deterrent is to be preventative. We know that it is not 100% possible to prevent any and all crime, but we also believe that in being aware, you might have the edge in preventing or avoiding potential harmful situations and thus preventing a crime or harm from actually happening to you.

Awareness is where it all starts. Let’s look at an example or two. If you drive out of your driveway in the morning to work, are you aware of any suspicious movement or people in your immediate surroundings? Or are you busy applying make-up, tuning the radio or focussing on what to do? Given, we cannot be aware 100% of the time, but if you look at crime stats, there are certain times when you need to be switched on.

These are times like leaving your house first thing in the morning, approaching your vehicle, exiting through your gate, driving away from home, and also the return procedure at night. This is when you need to start zoning out and switching on, because you need to expect something. Criminals strike when they have the initiative and these rules of engagement always stay the same. They will not attack you (in most instances) when you take away the initiative from them.

No one in their right mind will proceed to enter a house if they know armed people are waiting for me inside and they are prepared. Simply due to the fact that the people on the inside have the initiative. The moment I step through that door is the moment the odds are stacked against me. And this is what being aware is all about.

The moment a suspicious person is loitering outside my home and he sees me looking intently at him and noticing him, is the moment he loses the initiative. He has been spotted and he knows it. Now, it might be an innocent passer-by, but I would rather this innocent person not like me very much for staring at him, than this being an actual intruder and having the initiative.

So how much should I notice? This is an art in itself and a “trade” you need to learn and improve as you go on. Start by looking at something stationary and simple, any object will do. Let’s take a simple lamp as such – look at its shape, its colour, the type of lampshade it has, the colour of the wire. Keep in mind that nothing escapes your subconscious. Nothing. Everything you look at will be stored in there somewhere. The question is – are you aware of what you are seeing and noticing.

The more you start actually looking at something is the more you start noticing. And you will learn to notice much more in a much shorter time. Try this exercise – drive past someone and try to remember just 3 things – hair colour, shirt colour, trouser colour. You can improve this as you go – by noticing more and more things as you learn.

By being alert in all aspects, you will start noticing things – things that might not necessary mean anything, but things that might be used later on to either prevent situations or help solve situations.

Be aware – it might save you.

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