Tips On How to Deal With Cop-Jacking

A year ago we published a blog post on how to deal with cop-jacking, the blue light brigade and aggressive cops. They’d been in the news for hostile behaviour and people were unsure how to handle it. It’s hard to believe that this scourge has reared its ugly head again, with truck jacking reportedly on the increase.

Many of us will be out and about on SA’s roads this month, vulnerable to rogue cops or cops that simply lose their cool. So we thought it would be useful to repeat the advice of experts on how to conduct ourselves in tricky situations with those that should be there to serve and protect but sometimes aren’t.

Unsure if they’re genuine cops wanting you to pull over?

Howard Dembovsky of the Justice Project South Africa told DStv Carte Blanche presenter Devi Sankaree Govender that you should:

  • Slow down immediately, driving at no more than 40 km/h
  • Then, turn your hazard lights on
  • And indicate to the blue light car that it should follow you

To indicate your intentions, roll down your driver side window, put your arm out of the window and give a hand signal that indicates follow me. You do this by waving your bent arm, with hand up, backwards and forwards a few times. Then drive to a police station or a place of safety where there are CCTV cameras (like a petrol station) because it is unlikely that criminals would follow you into those types of environments.

Dembovsky goes on to say: Further advice is to call 10111 and inform them that you are being followed by a car with blue lights and that you are driving to a safer environment before stopping.

These tips are only for cop-jackers: don’t try this at a roadblock

Dembovsky warns residents not to use this protocol at a genuine road block. He told Devi that a roadblock is properly constituted they have to put out signs (and) cones (and) there are multiple vehicles involved. A roadblock is not two traffic cops standing at the side of the road pulling people over

He also told Devi that if you race away (from the cops) like a criminal it’s unreasonable of you to expect them not to think that you are a criminal you need to understand that the protocol is (one) of surrender not flight.

Here’s a final piece of advice from Dembovsky if you’re pulled over by the cops:

  • Once you’ve stopped, remain in your car with the engine running
  • Keep calm
  • Don’t get cocky with police, ever!

At the end of the day, you can expect to be treated with the same courtesy as you treat the police who have pulled you over. Cooperate with these people, don’t try and litigate on the roadside, otherwise you’re going to find yourself in trouble.

Contributor: Lindy Barry

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