By Morné Joseph
Safety always remains a personal concern, especially when it concerns your family and yourself. Community safety has more to do with groups of individuals coming together to make the area safer for everyone. In this topic you can reach discussions like social security, area upliftment and community involvement.
Your first line of security in terms of community will be your neighbour. A neighbour who will look after your property when you are away from home. A neighbour who will feed your animals and activate or deactivate your alarm system if need be.
How do I get involved?
There are two ways and different levels of involvement.
Passive involvement – behind the scenes. Financial contributions.
Active involvement – physically out there attending meetings, doing visibility patrols, assist wherever you can and always give your input to ensure a safer community.
Your neighbourhood watch plays a vital role in the reduction of crime, but it needs to be active and driven by like minded individuals. Neighbourhood watches should be a voluntary service and NO demands must be put on any individual to do work outside of their comfort zones.
You can find your local safety structure stats at your local police station:
2. Community Police Form
3. Community police sub-forum
4. Your neighbourhood watch
5. Street/block captains or coordinators.
Once you have followed all the channels to become a member of your neighbourhood watch, start educating yourself regarding the set up of your house. The location etc. Do you have outlets like liquor stores, taxi ranks, shopping centres or railway stations close by? If that is the case, your property could be at risk of potential thieves hiding in the area. Know your street names, know your entry and exit points in your area. Take note of greenbelts – potential moving grounds for criminals at night.
Find a list of numbers of your local police, doctors, fire departments etc. They all form part of a complete security plan.
In conclusion. Become an extension of the eyes and ears of our police. As residents, you are no substitute or replacement to take the law in your own hands. Your safety comes first. To identify, observe, record and report should be the primary goal in order to assist to make your neighbourhood safer. Whilst exercising a safe neighbourhood watch routine, be cautious not to infringe on other’s human rights and privacy.
Let your neighbourhood become your place of safety by doing your bit.