This last week we had a run on gate motors again, with two being stolen. One vehicle was stolen off the pavement – again. An interesting thought is that we had two reports of suspicious persons that coincided with a theft of a gate motor all on the same morning. Shows you the need to report and track suspicious persons.
Below is a graph that shows the number of burglaries that occurred each week over the last six months. While it does indicate at least one a week, every so often we had a peak. If we collate this with the known facts in connection with burglaries, then we can say that during the weeks where we have a low burglary rate is when the criminal gangs were doing their scouting. So, when there are almost no burglaries we need to be extra vigilant and be on the lookout for scouts.
Last night (12/13 July) we had a call out to assist Alex 11 (LX11 or Lyttelton Extension 11) to apprehend a wall jumper. Thanks to those from Doringkloof who did, and especially Hannes who relinquished his duty as coordinator to assist, and to Thea who took over while he was away.
In spite of the fact that the Doringkloof responders were on a separate radio network, it worked well with Chereen acting as relay between LX11 comms and us. Perhaps we can refine this even more in the future when we assist our neighbouring neighbourhood watches and they us.
Well done to all those involved.
Unfortunately, the other side of the coin is not working as well; and it goes something like this:
1. We often hear where people call in to say that there is a suspicious person or vehicle outside their property and can someone please come and see to this. Being a member of a neighbourhood watch actually means that this is exactly what you signed up to do, i.e. to observe and report suspicious persons. You are the ‘eyes and ears’ of the neighbourhood watch. if you feel threatened then call for back-up, although in the more than 10 years that we have had a neighbourhood watch, there is no evidence that anyone who went out to ask a suspicious person whether we can help him or her or warned them that we are aware of them, has anyone been threatened or harmed. Especially if you have your radio with you.
2. There is a growing trend for some residents not to use the radio but to either phone a friend who does and who then makes the radio call. Similarly, some residents who may not have a radio, Whatsapp a message to their Street Captain or to Doringkloof NCC informing that they are the victim of crime. In both cases, the delay in getting the message to those likely to respond means that the suspects will be miles away when they come on-site. Those who feel that it is not necessary to purchase a radio and thus join the DNW but still feel that they can use the phone or Whatsapp should rather consider calling their security service or SAPS – the response time will be the same – too late!
3. Another misconception is that as a member of the DNW, all that is expected of us is to call on the radio if we feel that we might be or are the victim of a crime. Not so! When you bought the radio or you gave your name and address to the Street Captain, we all indirectly agreed to be part of supporting each other in case of crime. This means that in our fight to prevent crime we are all in this together. One Saturday in 2007, when we started off, there was a call to clear the bush where the office park in Rose Ave is today. That day residents came out in their numbers and did exactly that and in no time the bush was cleared. During the same period, we had about two to three incidents of wall jumpers a week and every time residents came out in their numbers. As the call came in one would hear people announcing on the radio that they were on their way. At times during those days some men said that they needed a night off to catch up on sleep. We as a neighbourhood watch need a similar commitment today if we are to reduce crime.
It grieves us to bring these points to everyone’s notice but unless we take crime prevention seriously and join the DNW and join in, in the way we do things, then we are doomed to have the high crime rate that we had before.
We hope in the next few weeks to re-affirm the way we can all contribute to crime prevention.