- Aug 2015

Are women more at risk of getting a Smash and Grab attack?

Women Wednesday: Tips for women to avoid a potential smash and grab attack.

It’s 8:05 am and your foot is already tired from the hour you’ve spent in traffic, you’re late and you can feel that today is going to be “one of those days”. If only you didn’t press snooze three times and woke up when your alarm screamed at you the first time. The traffic doesn’t look like it’s going to get better and you can see yourself getting into the office closer to 9:00 am. You may as well use this free time to make yourself look presentable, after all you don’t want your colleagues seeing your “I overslept” face. Time to pop open that sun visor mirror, get out that MAC from the handbag and make yourself look fashionably late. The traffic light just turned red so there is a quick opportunity to get started. These stupid hawkers always bother you here and as always you tell them to go away. Why is one of them lingering like that? You ask, surely he can see that no means no. Why is he not going away? What is in his hand? *SMASH* *GRAB* *GONE*. By the time you’ve realised the deafening noise of glass breaking was in fact your window, the vagrant is gone with your handbag containing your wallet, cell phone and I.D.

It can happen to you.

Does that scene seem all to familiar? For many women who have been through this traumatic experience, it does. The day you least expect it, is the day somebody decides to violate you and your car through a smash and grab attack. These type of incidents happen to both men and women, but the likelihood of these type of incidents happening to women are higher as criminals view women as soft targets. Another factor is that women unlike many men carry bags which contain vital items in them. It’s cumbersome to put bags like these into the boot as things like cell phones and wallets are easier to access when they’re next to you stowed in a bag instead of in various other places. The reality is that even though this may be easier, it’s not safer. A hawker can often times be an opportunist and if they get the chance to some easy money, they might just take it.

How can I prevent a Smash and Grab attack?

One of the simplest ways of preventing this to happen to anyone, (man or woman) is to simply store handbags, laptop bags and other items in the boot. Not only is this safer, it also clears unnecessary driving distractions because it’s easy to quickly do your eye-liner at the traffic light if your handbag is close by or even answer a quick text. The fact is that even though it’s easier, again it’s not safe. Even though I am not a female, spending time with many women has made me realise how easy it is to leave a handbag on the passenger seat. If you’re late, rather do your make up at the office car park when stationary and safe. It’s the saddest thing to see criminals take advantage of women at traffic lights, but the risk can be reduced if the right precautions are taken. So ladies stay safe and keep your bags in the boot, everyone wants you to look good, but not at the expense of your window and your belongings. Happy Women Wednesday Motorists.

*Image courtesy of www.buzzsouthafrica.co.za