Tips on what to do during and after an armed robbery

A key aspect of protecting yourself and your family is to talk about the ‘what if’. It is important to know what to do when faced with an armed robbery. l SAPS

A key aspect of protecting yourself and your family is to talk about the ‘what if’. It is important to know what to do when faced with an armed robbery. l SAPS

Published Jul 11, 2024


Durban — If you ever find yourself in an armed robbery, the Fidelity ADT has provided a few tips on what you should do during and after an armed robbery.

Fidelity ADT Group marketing and communications head, Charnel Hattingh, said it was most people’s people’s worst nightmare. You are in a shop, at your workplace or in your living room at home and suddenly you are under attack by armed robbers.

She said while it is not something anyone wants to think about, it is important to have a plan of action.

Hattingh said the prevalent crimes involving armed criminals were home invasions, hijackings and follow-home robberies.

“A key aspect of protecting yourself and your family is to talk about the ‘what if’. Make sure everyone in the family or at your workplace knows what to do in the event of an armed robbery.

“Good perimeter security is vital. This should include a CCTV security system set-up, electric fencing, access control systems, outdoor beams and proper lighting. Activate outdoor beams when you get home and the alarm system in areas of the home you are not using,” Hattingh explained.

“Business security systems and home security solutions must be linked to an armed response service provider and all systems must be regularly tested.”

Hattingh said what about when you are away from the security of your home and its round-the-clock security surveillance? You have had to go to the mall or you are at work and a crisis strikes. Or, you are on your way home and you drive straight into a cash heist in progress.

You find yourself metres from criminals with big guns, making demands and piling into bags whatever they can lay their hands on.

“This is a terrifying ordeal. It is not easy to keep a cool head but staying calm is very important. The criminals are also on edge and if you ‘lose it’ they could become trigger-happy,” Hattingh said.

Hattingh added: “South Africans are often heard saying ‘you’re not safe anywhere anymore’. This is, unfortunately, true. We live in an extremely dangerous country where criminals continue to ply their trade unabated, often with the aid of high-calibre weapons not even the police are equipped to counter.

“This is why it is so important for each of us to take responsibility for our own safety through being vigilant, reporting suspicious activity and installing proper home security solutions, such as security camera systems, electric fencing and access control systems.”

Here are tips from Fidelity ADT for what to do in an armed robbery:


  • Stay calm and obey the robbers’ orders.
  • Keep your hands visible and do not reach for anything unless told to do so.
  • Do not try to negotiate with the robbers. Speak when spoken to and do so clearly.
  • Give them what they ask for and don’t lie about safes or cash in the home. Perhaps the robbers have done their homework.
  • Observe the robbers and try to gather information on their appearances, voices, language used, etc. Look at clothing, distinguishing marks, height and types of weapons, for example.
  • Keep them informed so there are no surprises, like if a family member is due to arrive for a visit.


  • Press your panic button/phone to alert your armed response service provider and/or phone the police on 10111. Be sure to state if you need medical assistance too.
  • Lock all doors.
  • Check on the victims. Keep everyone calm.
  • Relate the incident clearly and in detail to the first responders.
  • Try not to disturb areas the robbers were in and point out anything they may have left behind.

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