Personal security measures you should not ignore

July, 2019


Cases of crime in East Africa have been on the rise, deterring the economic growth of each country. In Kenya, the Economic Survey 2019 depicts the crime rate increased by 13.2 per cent with the total reported cases being 88,268 in 2018. While in Uganda, reported cases were 252,065 increasing by 3.3 per cent according to Annual Crime Report 2018 where out of every 100,000 people, 667 were victims of crime. Tanzania’s crime index was recorded at 60.42 soaring by 7 per cent.

Most people have been drugged while going about their daily hustles and bustles. The robbers are alleged to use a drug popularly known as ‘devil’s breath’ that is either blown into faces, through handshakes or soaked into business cards and leaflets. This leaves one with dizzy spells after which the assailants take advantage of the confusion and get away with their valuables such as phones, credit cards, jewelleries and cars. The entire incident may happen within a span of approximately five minutes!

While the police and security firms work hard to provide safety in our homes and businesses, it is important that we also take personal measures to ensure we stay safe while in public spaces such as matatus, taxis, on the streets, highways and other crowded events.

Here are some tips to ensure our personal safety

  • Avoid displaying your phone and glowing accessories in crowded spaces and especially on roads where traffic snarl-ups are common. 
  • When travelling alone in a taxi, sit at the back left where you can clearly see the driver and the direction he or she taking you.
  • Do not shake hands with strangers or give attention to unknown people who seem to ask for help or directions. The ‘devil’s breath’. 
  • Do not display your pin while at ATMs or mobile money outlets.
  • Carry your valuables in anti-theft bags such as laptop backpacks and well zipped handbags that are easy to carry with a grip.
  • Avoid offering rides in your car to strangers. These passengers may turn out to be carjackers. Also, do not accept lifts from strangers. They might turn out to be kidnappers.
  • Do not leave your drink unattended while in social places. 
  • Avoid walking alone at night especially in dark alleys and backstreets.
  • Look out for instant symptoms such as light-headedness, dizziness, blurred vision and body imbalance. Seek help immediately and if possible rush to hospital. 


Always remember that security begins with you!