This article was first published in Dawn Magazine on 27th Dec 2015
Q: What are some of the key security measures to take during the wedding season?
Ans: Weddings among other festivities are often hit by criminals because they’re a softer target. Criminals don’t necessarily come barging in with guns; it’s not uncommon to hear of them disguised as guests or support staff of event organisers.
— When there’s a large number of people present small gadgets, jewellery and cash are the prime focus of robbers. Check the house before the guests arrive and secure all items that wouldn’t be noticed by you until it’s gone missing.
— If you’re considering decorative lights and loud music then you need to be more cautious as the criminals have been alerted. Therefore, consider having a guard; remember on the day of the event your neighbours are probably at your reception resulting in several unoccupied homes for a period of time.
— In the days leading to the main event avoid handling jewellery and cash in the presence of others even at home, especially in front of all support staff. It creates an opportunity and temptation that could be hard to resist.
On the way:
— If you are to wear expensive jewellery then carry the items, not wear them, till you’re at the venue.
— If you are travelling in a decorated vehicle ensure that you have the least amount of valuables with you both on the way to or from the reception. Have another trusted person carry the items in a regular unmarked vehicle.
— When taking the gifts home consider the option of giving them to a trusted person to keep at another place that is not identifiable as a house where celebrations are taking place (decorative lights, tents, etc.).
At the event:
— Secure your gifts; ensure that at least two persons are keeping a vigilant eye at all times.
— Don’t take the gifts out to a vehicle until you are ready to transfer them to your home.
— Don’t resort to aerial celebratory gunfire; it is illegal and extremely dangerous.
— If staying at a hotel for the night, keep all valuables in the safe.