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How to keep safe these holidays

With rising incidences of child kidnapping, the safety of children is of paramount importance over the holidays.

As many families prepare for the festive holidays, criminals are also flocking to especially busy shopping malls.
The provincial police have called on locals and tourists to be vigilant against crime at shopping malls and their homes during this festive season.
Parents are also warned to avoid taking their kids to shopping malls, especially when busy. They are also warned to ensure they keep small children with them at all times and not let them wander around.

The provincial police spokesperson, Brigadier Selvy Mohlala, warned that Mpumalanga and the rest of the country should prepare for increased criminal activities and many road accidents.

“Crime and road accidents negatively affect our people, destroy families and harm the tourism industry. Let us join hands and fight crime and restore road safety. Mpumalanga is one of the most visited provinces in the country, especially the Lowveld region, which is rich in cultural diversities and tourism,” he said.

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Tips for parents taking children to shopping malls:

• You must always be able to see them and they must always be able to see you.
• Teach your kids that if they ever become separated from you, they should look for a “safe stranger” for help. This should preferably be a mom with kids, a cash register worker or security guards.
• Tell your child never to leave the mall or store to go looking for you, no matter what anyone tells them
• Dress your child in brightly coloured clothes to make them easy to spot. Be sure to remember what they are wearing.
• Don’t treat public facilities as a convenient babysitter.
• Do not leave your children alone at video arcades, movie theatres, play areas or other public places.
• Always bring young children into the restroom with you.
• Make sure that your child knows your cell phone number and your name. Only take your kids to shopping malls when it is necessary, but also do not leave them unattended at home.

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Tips to secure house/homes:

• Avoid posting on social media about your whereabouts and plans
• Always have someone look after you house when you are on vacation
• Make sure you have enough electricity for the alarm to continue working before leaving the house and ensure you all outside lights are in working condition.
• Only inform neighbours that you trust that you are not home.
• Ensure that you all your alarms are activated.
• Keep your phones on at all times for urgent messages.

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