Tips on keeping safe
The following measures should always be considered to ensure the safety and security of our staff and students. It is important, however, to always be vigilant. The best way for students and staff to prevent crime is to be aware of their surroundings, and particularly the people in their environment.
Students and staff are encouraged to be alert for suspicious persons in and around campus buildings and in parking areas.
- They should ask themselves questions such as:
- Are they hanging around for no apparent reason?
- Are they looking into cars as they walk through the parking areas?
- Are they going from room to room trying doorknobs?
- Are they carrying valuable property from buildings after normal working hours?
If they suspect anything, they should call PS immediately on 021 9596301 for Bellville and Cape Town is 021 4603122.
Pursuing suspicious persons is strongly discouraged.
If you are the victim of a crime
Using the crime-prevention techniques suggested may reduce the chances of becoming a victim. If confronted with a threatening situation the following is important:
- No material possession is worth endangering one's life for.
- If confronted by a criminal who is armed, or claims to be armed, give up your property immediately.
- Use your judgement of the particular situation and do anything to stay alive.
- At the first opportunity, contact PS at 021 9596301 for Bellville and Cape Town is 021 4603122.
Protecting your property
Theft is the most common crime on campus. The best means of prevention is to reduce or remove the opportunity.
- Whenever you leave your office, laboratory or residence, lock the door and close windows.
- Never leave access doors propped open.
- When storing a purse or a wallet in the office, lock it in a seldom-used filing cabinet.
- Do not leave any backpack or bags in open public places unsupervised, especially in cafeterias and libraries.
- Keep a record of serial numbers and descriptions of your valuables.
- Engrave your property, preferably with your ID number.
- Never leave items on display inside your car while it is parked.
- Invest in a steering wheel- or gear-lock.
- Lock your door and windows even when leaving the room for a short time.
- Keep emergency numbers next to your phone or fixed on your desk.
- Secure your door and window when you are alone and while you are asleep.
- Do not leave house keys hidden in a traditional location, such as under the doormat.
- Do not put your home address on your key ring.
- Get to know your neighbours. You can keep an eye on each other's rooms when you are not there.
- Call 021 9596301 for Bellville and Cape Town is 021 4603122 to report suspicious persons or activities in or around your neighbourhood if you live on CPUT premises.
- Do not leave any messages on your door to indicate that you will be away for any length of time.
- Do not keep large sums of money inside your room.
- Take your valuables home when you go on vacation.
Protecting yourself off campus
- Remember you are safer when walking in a group, especially at night. Use identified safe routes such as our “Green Route” on the Cape Town campus.
- Get into the habit of being escorted by a security official when walking late at night within CPUT premises.
- Avoid walking in dark and deserted areas and stay away from short cuts. Look around you and be aware of your surroundings. Remember, an area is not safe just because you are familiar with it.
- Walk actively and confidently. You must always try to make eye contact with the people around you.
- Carry your bag around your neck and diagonally across your body. Do not carry it hanging over one shoulder. You may as well clutch your bag and hold it to the front.
- Put your wallet in an inside coat or front pants pocket not a back pocket.
- Walk in well-lit busy streets and walk in a group if possible.
- If you know or suspect that a pedestrian is following you, go to the nearest well-lit or busy area and call the police on 10111 if off the campus and if on the campus call the PSD.
- If you are followed by a vehicle, never try to outrun it. Turn and walk in the opposite direction. React by yelling or shouting if possible.
- Carry money or phone cards for emergency phone calls.
- Hide your cell phone and do not walk around talking on a cell phone as it will distract you.
- Avoid going out unnecessarily after hours
- Avoid parking your car in isolated areas.
- Lock all possessions in the boot.
- Have your car key ready when approaching your car.
- Lock your door as soon as you get into your car.
- Drive on well-travelled streets and never pick up hitchhikers.
- If you think you are being followed, drive to the nearest police station, shop or business to seek help.
- If your car breaks down, open your boot or bonnet, if it is safe to do so, then stay inside your locked car and use your cell phone to call an emergency service, or wait until someone comes to assist. When a person stops to help you, do not get out; instead, ask them to call for professional help.
Sexual assault and rape
Students and/or employees who experience a sexual assault on/off the CPUT campus should immediately report the incident to PS and the SAPS.
A victim of a sexual assault should make every effort to preserve all evidence so that the law enforcement officers can present as strong a case as possible. Reporting an assault is a MUST! Try to note any distinguishing characteristics of the person who assaulted you. Please note that a sexual assault is not always perpetrated by a stranger. It can happen on a date or by someone known to the victim. If you find yourself in an uncomfortable situation, know who to call for a ride home, or always have money for a taxi. Please note that the more you consume alcoholic beverages, the less aware and more vulnerable you will become.
In the case of a sexual assault, the following action is recommended:
- Call the PS office immediately at
- Ensure that the matter is reported to the local South African Police Service (SAPS) as soon as possible,(this is advisable, but you will not be forced to report the matter to the police)
- It is important to remember that all evidence will be lost if a rape victim takes a bath, shower, or changes clothes.
- Contact Student Counsellor Family, friends or a Psychologist for support.
- Victims of sexual assault can receive crisis intervention and referral services from POWA, Health Department or Victim Empowerment Centres situated at the SAPS.
Health and safety
The following procedures should be followed during emergencies:
In fire emergencies:
- Raise the alarm.
- call Protection Services
- inform your lecturer or any other authorised person
- follow the building evacuation procedure if necessary
- contain the fire if you can do so without endangering yourself; otherwise rather wait for PS officers to arrive
In medical emergencies
- Call Protection Services
- Do not risk causing further injuries to the patient in any way if you do not have First Aid training. It is safer to wait for a Protection Services officer to arrive
- Inform any other authorised person
Do not risk causing further injuries to the patient in any way if you do not have First Aid training.