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The national crime statistics, which were made public yesterday by police minister Bheki Cele, are alarming to say the least. With violent crime at an all-time high, a pall of fear has once again descended over South Africa as criminals continue their draconian reign and the public is left reeling with shock and disbelief.

Certainly, the latest crime stats paint a grim picture and are perhaps indicative of a system in need of a serious overhaul. It’s not all bad news, however, with slight decreases in the number of reported cases of house burglary as well as motor vehicle theft.

As a leading South African manufacturer of access automation equipment, the safety and security of the community is a matter that the company takes very seriously, and considers technology to be a key ally in the fight against crime.

According to CENTURION communications coordinator Charl Mijnhardt, the company strives to not only innovate solutions that help keep homes and families safe, but also to educate people and empower them to lead more secure lives.

“Knowledge is power,” says Mijnhardt. “While crime remains a clear and present danger countrywide, there are certain steps that people can take to reduce the likelihood of them becoming a victim”.

Vigilance is key

Always be aware of your surroundings, and don’t allow yourself to be distracted. Whether you are drawing money from an ATM, waiting at a traffic light or driving up to your gate, be mindful of anyone loitering in the vicinity, and don’t hesitate to alert the police or your security company should you feel threatened.

Keep your driveway clear of vegetation and well lit

Criminals can use bushes and dense vegetation around your entrance gate as a hiding place, and often operate under cover of darkness. CENTURION gate motors allow for easy connection of pillar or courtesy lights, which switch on when the gate motor is activated, bathing the driveway in light.

Change up your routine

As human beings, we are creatures of habit. We put on our pants before our socks and wash our faces before we have our morning Cornflakes, lest the equilibrium of the entire world gets thrown out of whack. But the same habits and routines that are such a source of comfort and reassurance, could land you in serious trouble. When driving to and from work, be sure to alternate your routes and do not take the same roads too often. If you do suspect that you are being followed, rather drive on past your destination and to a safe place, such as your local police station.

Use technology to your advantage

Leaving your vehicle to open and close your gate makes you vulnerable to attacks by hijackers and other opportunistic criminals. Having a gate motor installed means that you can operate your gate without having to leave the safety of your car, and high-speed models such as CENTURION’s D10 Turbo ensure that you can get into and out of your property as quickly as possible.

While many detractors have been bemoaning the role that mobile phones play in modern life (and, for the most part, rightly so), this ubiquitous device can also be one of your best allies in the fight against crime. With a GSM device, such as CENTURION’s G-ULTRA, you can receive SMS or push notifications on your phone if, for example, your alarm has been activated, your gate has been left open, or even if the infrared beams on the outside of your property have been interrupted. Most GSM modules have outputs as well as inputs, making it possible to remotely control devices such as electric gates, security lights and alarm panels.

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