Stay safe: Advice from the experts

July 15, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 15 – As cases of insecurity continue to rise in the country, Kenyans are being urged to take extra precaution when it comes to home protection.

Speaking to Capital News, KK Security Manager in charge of Investigations Sasha Nginja said domestic burglaries were on the rise.

“From way back criminals have always targeted homes because they believe there must be something of great value, that’s why they would go to the trouble of breaking into homes,” Mr Nginja said.

He believes the first step in deterring criminals is ensuring you have good perimeter fencing which makes it hard for thugs to gain access into the compound.

“The less people see of your home the less interested they are and that goes a long way in ensuring your safety at home. Therefore things like holes in fences should be covered up immediately,” he said.

Mr Nginja also said good lighting around the compound puts off criminal activity especially at night. Another proposal is hiring professional security firms as opposed to private guards because thugs are apparently colluding with watchmen.

“Most legitimate security companies are actually recruiting and training security officers. It stems down to the kind of training and motivation they receive in terms of remuneration that encourages them to do a good job,” Mr Nginja added.

In recent times, home crimes have been attributed to people employed to work in the homes. The security expert believes it has to do with the way they are treated which causes them to lash out at and rob their employers.

“Ultimately it stems down to how you treat people. If you make them part of that homestead they feel obliged to protect your home because they feel they have something to lose when you lose,” Mr Ngija explained.

To minimise the risk even further, security background checks have been advised.

“As an employer you have the right to take them to the police or even the CID to verify if they have any prior criminal record,” the expert said.

In the unfortunate incident you are accosted by criminals, it is highly advised not to engage in a verbal exchange with them.

But at times home burglaries are opportunistic and happen when owners are out shopping, socialising or on holiday.

In such situations, Mr Ngija advises that you consider cancelling all deliveries to your home.  Make sure your neighbours know where they can contact you in an emergency and your expected time of return.

From time to time have neighbours use your driveway and clothes line to make it look like someone is home. Lock away any tools and ladders that could be used by a would-be thief to break into to your house.

If you are away for an extended period consider inviting a relative or friend to house sit for you.

As a matter of common sense do not leave a message on your door that you away, that’s a straight invite for criminals to pay you a visit, Mr Ngija cautioned.


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