This last week we had 3 vehicles stolen, 3 burglaries plus one attempted burglary, a theft out of a vehicle and one drug deal thrown in for the luck of it. 8 crime incidents! More than one a day!
We again stress the fact that burglaries can only be prevented by the residents own actions. The neighbourhood watch’s contribution is vigilance by your neighbours and regular visible patrolling.
What does concern us is the number of vehicles left unattended on the pavements throughout Doringkloof. Leaving your Hilux or Fortuner on the pavement is asking for someone to take it. And, please note, vehicle thefts are not only occurring in Doringkloof but there is a rise in vehicle thefts throughout Centurion.
We can all reduce vehicle thefts by parking our vehicles in the yard, even if it is for only a minute or two while you fetch whatever you forgot. The same goes for that valuable laptop with all your banking details on it that is just lying on the seat while you pop into the café for a minute.
THE DORINGKLOOF NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH (DNW)
We thought it might be useful to review why we have a DNW. It all started in 2006 when a resident was hijacked and shot in the street one evening. The residents had enough and started the DNW!
Since then the DNW has grown, adapted to the changing circumstances and refined most of the procedures. However, the basic over-riding aim remains the same:– TO PREVENT CRIME IN DORINGKLOOF!” (Or, as some would like to state it – “TO MAKE DORINGKLOOF A SAFE ENVIRONMENT!”)
What is the approach that we use to combat crime? We use the three tiered system, namely:
1. Each resident is responsible for his or her own immediate security. Here we think of the alarms systems, the wall/fences, the beams, electric fences, and the connection with a security company. We all are responsible for this aspect to ensure our own safety.
2. Neighbours look out for and support neighbours. Our neighbours are the closest residents living near us, and here we refer to those residents whose property adjoins ours as well as those across the road from us. Meet them, and exchange phone numbers, ensuring that they too have a radio. We support them by keeping an eye on their property for anything suspicious, calling this in on the radio if criminal activity is suspected. Should a neighbour call that an intruder is in the garden, we check our own from a darkened house and then make sure that the intruder is contained so that other residents coming in support can affect an arrest.
3. Members of the DNW who respond to a call for support. In the case of a crime called on the radio, members of the DNW will respond. They do this with the purpose of catching the criminals before they can get away. Other members of the DNW conduct visible patrols through Doringkloof to ensure that the suburb is secure i.e. make any criminal feel insecure. With this support from our residents (not just the gawkers) we have achieved great success in the past. This even includes residents, who, on hearing of a suspicious person or vehicle in the vicinity go out onto the street with their radios and observe the suspicious person or vehicles and report on their progress through the suburb.
At the same time we need to stress a few things that the DNW is not:
The DNW is not a private police force. The DNW consists of ordinary every day citizens who want to make a contribution to the community. They will come out to support you if a crime is about to or has happened. However, please do not ask for someone to go out and check someone sitting on your pavement. You, as a DNW member do the observing/checking (on behalf of all of us DNW members) and as soon as a crime is seen to be committed, you can call it in on the radio and ask for the necessary support. In similar vein, one cannot expect the DNW to regularly patrol down your street because you are having a party and your guests will have parked their vehicles in the street. For this you must hire a security company.
The DNW is not a security company, where you buy the radio, and then only use it when you feel unsafe. By buying a radio you do commit yourself to becoming part of the crime prevention action. This means that you keep a listening watch on your radio at all times and respond, especially if the incident being reported in near you.
The DNW radio is not a community radio where everything and anything goes. The radio is there to prevent crime. All of us need to be aware that many residents listening out will start reacting the moment a call comes through and only as they move out do they listen to what exactly is going on. If your call has nothing to do with crime you are frustrating those who react immediately and who mean business with criminals. Exceptions to this rule are where the radio is used to summon help in a genuine emergency, such as a medical emergency, checking whether the power outage is due to cable theft or not, etc. (Note: Only crime related calls may be made on the radio between 20:00 and 06:00)
The radio is not a chat channel. To keep everyone happy we keep our transmissions short and simple, omitting speculation, opinions, etc. If you need to know, why not phone a friend who is in the know.
Finally, the DNW does have an understanding with some security companies, who will assist us if their duties allow. However, if you are not a client of a security company and you ask for their assistance, you will be expected to pay for the service they rendered.