10 July 2021
This is first of our weekly newsletters.
As you know, Doringkloof crime prevention is built upon the understanding that
“Criminals seek out victims in an environment which enables crime”.
Therefore our response to crimes must be 3-fold:
1) Respond massively and immediately to crime in progress, arrest suspects and
bring them to justice.
2) Educate householders on threats, interventions and habits to avoid becoming
unwitting “soft targets”.
3) Alter the environment to inhibit crime (ie mend fencing, maintain public open
spaces for clear sight-lines, etc).
Let us start with the first point. Each resident is the neighborhood watch.
If you see something, say something immediately on the radio. If you hear of
something nearby, support it immediately, even if you just go out with a radio and
witness an incident. It takes neighbors 20 seconds to support each other, but it takes
5 minutes or more for “someone” from other-side Doringkloof to come support your
own next-door neighbor.
If neighbours don’t help each other, the average Doringkloof house is without aid for
at least the first 5 minutes of a crime. With a 5-minute response, our chances of
identifying and detaining suspects are poor. When only a few people respond, those
chances become alarmingly poor and crime levels escalate alarmingly.
The purpose of this newsletter is to make householders aware how criminals are
operating, and advise them what actions to take. This changes them from “soft
targets” to “tough targets”.
We always advise residents to tidy up gardens and public open spaces for a reason:
To establish clear sight lines, allowing detection of intruders and breaches more
easily… especially at night.
Here are 3 incidents that took place in the last month, each carry lessons:
Incident 1: Remote jamming
A lady went shopping at the local mall. Upon returning to her car, she found
valuables missing (laptop included).
Remote-jamming happens several times a month in Doringkloof. They favour busy
places with lots of traffic, even places manned by smart/alert security guards and
equipped with CCTV! This includes Shops, Schools and Creches.
Remote-jammers typically sit in parked cars, waiting. They have an uncanny ability
to assess likely victims, radio-jam the locks, quickly exit their vehicle, open victim’s
door, drive away with the valuables…it’s all over in about 5 seconds. We have seen
cases with a victim chatting to a friend 10m away, whilst a remote-jammer took
valuables from her car.
There are two lessons here:
The lady left valuables visible in the car. Do not leave valuables or trinkets
visible inside your car. Put them in boot before arrival.
She left her car without confirming her doors were actually locked (“clunk”
noise, lights flash). When locking your car, watch and listen for the signs it’s
locked. If in doubt, try it out…pull the door-handle.
Incident 2: Theft of outdoor Infra-red alarm sensors
Residents in Doringkloof and surrounds have reported increasing cases of burglar
alarm outdoor IR sensors stolen from outside of houses. The brand of these beams
is ironically called “TAKEX” (and they were taken).
The theft is only noted when the alarm misbehaves. It’s unclear if these beams are
valuable or if objective is to disable the perimeter alarm, as preparation for a later
When crooks start to steal your alarm system, it’s generally a bad sign. The dwelling
has no effective perimeter protection, the alarm’s probably not installed optimally,
and it’s not being used properly.
There are 3 lessons here:
Your perimeter is not secure if your teenager can skip the fence because
he/she locked himself out. Such perimeter security is called “an ornament”
and trespassers love it. Good perimeter security requires respect and special
ladders to breach.
It should not be easy to approach a sensor without causing an alarm. Outdoor
IR zones should be ideally be installed with overlapping zones, so any
approach to a sensor requires passing through the detection zone of another
It should not be possible to remove a sensor because alarm system is in “off”
mode. Outdoor zones should be set to “chime” during the day and “sleep”
mode during the night.
Incident 3: Attempted break-in
About 04h30 one morning, a resident in Zambesi street heard a dog barking, and
went out to look. He saw 2 men (with car) tampering with a neighbours rolling-gate,
possibly trying to steal a 4×4.
The man shouted and thieves departed at high speed.
There are 4 lessons here:
Remove the “prize”. Park Cars in garages or out of sight.
On cold winter’s nights, dogs sleep inside or curl into tight balls, reluctant to
check out noises. If you hear dogs barking early-morning this time of the year,
the cause is often substantial. It’s time to take a look.
Crooks are not “bulldogs”. When the alarm is raised, they quickly lose appetite
and seek escape.
Many perimeter breaches start with tampering of a rolling gate. There’s no
substitute for motor-protection, crowbar-proofing, lift-proofing or alarming your
Why you should avoid using WhatsApp Groups to report crime
If it’s time-critical, typing is a lot slower than speaking on our radio system.
Most persons mute big Whatsapp groups, so they don’t know when there’s
During the day, workers work. At night, sleepers sleep. Neither one reads
“Instant messages” can be delayed hours over the internet.
In summary: Instant message is not instantly read message.
Please report urgent matters by radio only. This will ensure you get the instant
widespread support we spoke about earlier, the fast and massive support…. That
enables arrests and reduces crime.
Please give us a detailed report of crimes/criminals you have become aware of by
email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Your email is routed direct to our coordinators,
patrollers and crime intelligence.
Please bear in mind, whilst we’re in 3rd wave of Covid, it is legal to go out and
respond (with Covid precaution) to security and other emergencies during curfew.
Doringkloof needs Patrollers to keep crooks off the streets. If you wish to join us,
please contact our patrols coordinator (Phille, 083 506 0777) for an introduction.
Patrollers must have a radio.
We have recently updated all the emergency contact numbers on our
www.doringkloof.net website, they are also in the hands of our DNW radio
coordinators, who’re on-duty 24/7, always ready to take the emergency calls.
Doringkloof needs volunteer radio coordinators, because no matter how much
they love excitement, they also need a break. If you’d like to help out with radio
coordination, please contact our coordinator representative (details on
These are very tough times, it’s cold… with scattered anarchy & pestilence.
Let us support each other at household, street and community levels (in that order).