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If you have experienced violence in South Africa first hand or have found yourself a victim of the rising crime stats in South Africa, we don’t have to tell you how traumatic it can be. However, being able to identify everything about your attacker and the attack goes a long way in helping police catch these perpetrators. Why is this important? Because identifying these attackers ultimately lessens 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.


We’ve put together a few of these observation techniques, a way of using 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. Vital observations that could help authorities catch these criminals and increasing the chances of getting them off our streets.


What to look for when observing the criminal  

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 be able to identify them to authorities. These observations should include:

  • Try and 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 his 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 used to get fingerprints.


What to look for when observing any objects the criminal has

Unfortunately crime stats in SA teach us that the majority of crime in South Africa 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’ cars

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 them getting caught. These include:

  • 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 is over, can dramatically increase the chances of these criminals getting caught. We at LockLatch understand how scary violent crime in South Africa can be, which is why we will continue to bring you as many home security and safety tips, crime stats updates and burglar proofing advice as we can.
Follow our blog for all your home security news and tips, and if you have some of your own, feel free to comment below or email at [email protected].


Further reading:

Hijack Prevention Tips Near Your Home

General & Safe Ventilation with LockLatch

4 Do’s & Don’ts to Survive a Home Invasion

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