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How to use all your senses during a crime

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Being a victim of crime is incredibly traumatic, but being able to identify everything about your attacker and the attack can ultimately help the police catch the perpetrators – this will ultimately reduce crime in South Africa by preventing them from being repeat offenders.

Observation is a term used by crime stat analysts, police and security companies which refers to victims being able to recount important details of the crime. There are specific observation techniques that they want us to learn, from identifying the attackers themselves to the make and model of the car they may be using, as a way to more swiftly catch these perpetrators and identify crime patterns.

Do you know what crimes are committed most in your suburb? Suburb Intelligence has suburb-specific stats

Our friends at Lock Latch have put together a few observation techniques which will teach you to use all your five senses to identify as much as you can in the unfortunate case that you or your family are a victim of crime in South Africa.

What to look for when observing the criminalcriminal tattoos

If you are a victim of crime in South Africa, methodically identifying the criminal and as many of their characteristics as possible will help you to identify them to authorities. These observations should include:

  • Gauge how old they are, their height and their weight
  • Note their sex, their race, their skin complexion, their hair colour, their build and any notable characteristics like scars, marks or tattoos
  • Observe what the assailant is wearing, from shoes to any headwear, looking for identifying brand names
  • Are they speaking with a distinct accent?
  • If the criminal touches any surface in your home or car that could possibly be used to get fingerprints

What to look for when observing any objects the criminal hasclose up of knife

Unfortunately crime stats in SA teach us that most crimes are perpetrated by criminals carrying a weapon. Here are some valuable observations you can make to identify the object:

  • Note colour, size and make
  • Look for any specific markings, labels or damage that could be used to identify the object later on

What to look for when observing criminals’ carsclose up of car head lights

If you are a victim of a crime where the criminals have a get-away car, these observations could help security forces mobilise quicker and increase the chances of catching them:

  • Make, model and colour of the car
  • As much of the number plate as you can remember
  • Observing which direction the car flees towards
  • Any distinguishing marks, scratches or dents on the car that could help identify it

Making these observations and then writing down and reporting this information after the traumatic ordeal can dramatically increase the chances of these criminals being caught.

Thanks to Steve Pearce at Lock Latch for the kind permission to reprint this article


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