By Modupe Shodeinde
The US Consulate has issued a security alert to Americans living in the country, warning that there is a notable increase in crime in Lagos.
The notice issued on Tuesday stated that reports of robberies, smash-and-grabs on the roads by armed men have increased significantly on both Ikoyi and Victoria Island.
Americans were asked to be aware of their surroundings, especially when driving at night. It read;
Security Alert: U.S. Consulate Lagos
Location: Lagos, Nigeria
Event: Security Notice
The U.S. Consulate General in Lagos has recently seen a notable increase in crime in Lagos. Reports of robberies/smash-and-grabs on the roads by armed men have increased significantly on both Ikoyi and Victoria Island.
Typically, men on a motorcycle will follow a vehicle until it stops at a traffic light or intersection then approach the vehicle, present a weapon, and rob the occupants.
Although most of these incidents happen at night, the U.S. Consulate General in Lagos has received reports of robberies taking place during daylight hours.
Please remember to be aware of your surroundings, especially when driving at night.
The following personal safety tips can help reduce your risk of becoming a victim.
1. Keep vehicle doors locked and windows rolled up at all times while driving, especially in traffic jams or at traffic lights.
2. Avoid driving alone at night and do not stop to help strangers on the road.
3. Ensure that valuables such as cash, laptops, phones, cameras, bags, etc. are kept out of sight.
4. Park your vehicle in areas that are well lit.
5. Survey the area around your vehicle before you approach and be aware of suspicious people.
6. Try to use main roads and avoid taking side roads at night.
7. Do not carry original documents such as your passport unless necessary.
8. Do not walk alone at night.
9. Carry only the amount of cash you will need.
10. The U.S. Consulate General in Lagos recommends that everyone consider the necessity of travel after 22:00.
Actions To Take:
-Be aware of your surroundings
-Keep a low profile
-Stay alert in public places, including schools, hospitals, government facilities, places of worship, tourist locations, and transportation hubs
-Review and alter travel routes and times to reduce time and place predictability
-Avoid crowds and demonstrations Exercise caution when walking or driving at night
-Carry proper ID
Review your personal security plans
-Monitor local media for updates
-Review the Travel Advisory for Nigeria