The importance of a close network in a criminal situation and how a family should react can make or break how it plays out.
According to Andre Snyman, Eblockwatch founder and Bryanston resident, in certain crime situations such as kidnapping, the close trusted circle is very important.
As part of the weekly edition of How Secure Are You? an online and print security feature in partnership with the Sandton Chronicle and Eblockwatch, Rob Matthews, father of Leigh Matthews who was tragically kidnapped and murdered in 2004, provides insights on what to do in a crime situation.
Matthews said what is important to deal with in your mind is that these types of things will not happen to you, whether it be a kidnapping, house robbery or hijacking.
“One of the things we never think about is what to do when it happens to you, and one thing I wish we thought about was how to deal with different scenarios.”
He said there should be a checklist of things to do and who to contact when a situation arises.
Matthews likened it to insurance policies. “We have insurance policies and contacts for when our possessions are stolen, but no policy to fund an effective, efficient team of experts to help coordinate these situations.
“These situations can be costly. Someone will have to cover these expenses and can financially ruin a family during this emotional and trying time.”
He continued that on that day, one day before her 21st birthday, Leigh went missing. “I received a call from a man who said she had been kidnapped. I realised how exposed we were because in our minds we never thought something like this would happen to us. We didn’t have a clue on how to deal with this.”
He said their case was extreme but there are other lesser criminal activities. “The problem with advice is that after the event it is not as effective.”
Matthews said the most important thing is to have a person outside the circle who is not emotionally involved, who is able to assist.
He said there should be a toolkit of information you can use, such as a list of reliable contacts or a responder who is going to come to your assistance.
“That’s where Eblockwatch comes in because we are able to mobilise the correct network in order to assist in a crime situation,” said Snyman, who added that the ticking of the boxes is the most important thing to do because you can’t do it after a situation happens to you.
Are you prepared for different crime scenarios? Share your toolkit with us on the Sandton Chronicle Facebook page