Doringkloof is currently experiencing an increase in gates being lifted. This has occurred both at night and during the day. The criminals ring the gate bell repeatedly and if there is no answer, they see whether the gate can be lifted. By lifting the gate just those few centimeters it will come off the rail and disengage the gear, allowing it to be slid open. When no one answers the bell they enter and we then have another burglary on our hands.
a. Residents are again advised to check their gates to ensure that they cannot be lifted. Otherwise, lock your gate with a sturdy and tamper proof lock.
b. Neighbours – please call in on the radio if you notice two or three people hanging around a gate – and do not be fooled into thinking that they are there to do repair work, to reconnect the electricity or just wanting to speak to the housemaid. Go out into the street and call on the radio. Once they have seen you in the street with the radio, if they immediately move off, you can rest assured that you have saved your neighbour from an unpleasant surprise. Still better, mention on the radio that the potential criminals are moving off so that other residents can come in and support you in seeing that they leave Doringkloof. In this way we can beat crime in our suburb.
There are more and more incidents of wall-jumpers occurring lately. IN 2006/7 we had almost two such incidents a week. By all of us pulling together in those days we beat the scourge. We need to do this again, to stop it getting out of hand, so here are a few indicators:
a. Do not ignore a strange or unusual noise at night. Get up and check by looking out of a darkened house into the garden. The intruders must not be aware that they have been spotted. Call it in on the radio. Neighbours can help by checking their gardens in the same way in response to your radio call.
b. We need a positive identification if we are going to react to an intruder. i.e. the person reporting the intruders in their garden must state that they have positively seen the intruders and indicate what they are doing. In the past we reacted many times just to find out that a cat had jumped onto the tool shed roof, only to slide off onto a stack of wood.
c. Once we have a positive identification, we need as many residents to react, closing off the block around the affected property. Do not rush to the scene. Leave that to the men who have the experience to act as “on-site coordinator”. They will assess the situation and keep the rest of us informed. All we are asking of residents is to stand guard at the street corners and report if they observe any suspects fleeing the scene so that those who are properly equipped can arrest the suspects.
Do not report crime-in-progress via Whatsapp! It does not work!
Some of our residents feel that being part of the Doringkloof Whatsapp group is sufficient. Please be assured that this is a wrong assumption. To be a member of the Doringkloof Neighbourhood Watch you need to have a radio. The reasons for this are as follows:
a. The DRA made the decision right at the beginning that our primary communication medium to combat crime will be the repeater radio. Radios reach everyone immediately and, as a result, the response is quick. Residents using any other communication medium, no matter how up to date, modern, or more efficient, only confuse the effort to combat crime, and could unwittingly help to increase crime in Doringkloof.
b. Any Whatsapp group is restricted to 100 members. What about the other 1300 house holds? The repeater and radio system is there for every resident who wants to be part of the effort to combat crime.
c. Experience has shown that unless we are on-scene within seconds we are too late. Whatsapp takes too long to text when seconds count and the message then has to be repeated on the radio for everyone else to come on line. This gives suspects enough time to make their getaway and our arrest rate will be zero. Criminals coming into Doringkloof might also recognise this fact and we could find ourselves becoming their targets more often.
We again ask that if you see anything suspicious going on and think it is connected to any type of crime – or if you believe that you are about to become a victim of crime – call it in on the radio. DO NOT TEXT IT ON WHATSAPP. You are doing us all a disservice.
However, Whatsapp does play an important role in our community. It allows us to share crime related information that does not require any immediate action, to share photos of suspects, etc. that cannot be sent over the radio. It also takes a lot of pressure off the radio, as it allows us to communicate with each other about all the non-crime related issues.
So, let’s keep Doringkloof crime free.