Be alert and aware – This has been said countless times but it must be reiterated that you can never be too careful. You need to be aware of your surroundings and if ever in doubt, listen to your hunch. There’s a reason why it’s called a woman’s instinct. Do not compromise on your safety. Avoid ‘easy target’ areas – Snatch thefts are usually committed in dark and deserted roads or alleys. This also applies to lift landing. If you’re coming home late whether by walking or driving, try to get someone to wait for you.
And don’t take shortcuts, they are usually quiet and deserted. Change your habits – Do not wear expensive jewellery and display it publicly, avoid talking or texting while walking down the street, try to walk against the flow of traffic so that you can see any oncoming danger and if driving, always lock the doors after you get in. Be bag savvy – Clasp bags securely under your arms and never let it hang off your shoulder to avoid being dragged if you’re rob by a bike-riding thief.
Never leave your handbag or wallet in plain view for everyone to see, most especially in the car. Separate the important – It is advisable to keep your IC, driving license and banks cards in a pocket or separate pouch. If the thief demands for your valuables, hand them over and if possible, throw them away from you. Your life is worth much more than your possessions. In cases of emergency, smartphones users are now able to download an app called ‘MyDistress‘ which is available for both iPhone and Android.
The app is linked directly to PDRM and provides immediate help the moment you activate the distress call, this is done by sending out an alert through your phone. There some very simple tips that could make the difference between being a potential target and being safe. Avoid quiet roads The streets of Johor Baru tend to be quieter as you leave the city centre. While most roads are lit, some have dark areas. There are many side roads ideal for those lying in wait. Taking short cuts through dark alleys or poorly-lit roads should also be avoided because you just never know who may be lurking in the shadows.
Keep valuables hidden It’s common to see female pillion riders with handbags slung to one side while at the same time hanging on to the rider for support. Riders also like to use waist pouches to keep their valuables. If you have a box or stash space under your seat, use it. Keep bags away from your sides and place them in the centre or between yourself and your pillion. Practise putting your wallet in the front pocket instead of your rear one. Remember, a snatch thief only has one pass to steal from you.
If your valuables are out of the way, it will only make it harder for him to target you. Watch the watcher If you’re at a coffee shop waiting for your motorbike to be serviced, take note of those around you. Are there others paying too much attention to you? When you make a move to start your motorcycle, do you see them doing the same? If so, hold on to your horses. Tell the restaurant owner or a passing cop about your suspicions. Your actions could discourage a would-be snatch thief. Ride alert As a rider you should be conscious of the vehicles around you.
Using your mirrors, you will be able to tell if you’re being tailed, or if another vehicle is too close to you. If you feel your space is being invaded, break away or let the person overtake. But first you must be mindful of leaving a gap between yourself and the next rider – just in case an arm or a leg stretches out to greet you. When riding in a convoy, look out for other riders in your group, who may need help in case of an emergency. Making a run for it on your motorcycle could be an option, but do so carefully. Head to crowded areas, or if possible ride straight to the police station.