Once a week, I attend a crime forum where role players involved with security meet with SAPS and share information and observations. Based on information provided by SAPS for the period January to August 2019 compared to the same period the previous year, the number of reported incidents remained constant and in some months showed a slight reduction.
Most of the incidents reported are property related crimes, i.e. housebreaking and theft out of motor vehicles, with the latter being one of the biggest contributors.
SAPS have over the past few months arranged several joint operations with Law Enforcement, the Crime Prevention Unit and Har-Lyn Neighbourhood Watch (“HNW”). It has been proven that visible policing acts as a deterrent to criminals and there is always a reduction in crime after these visible policing operations are held. We would like to thank SAPS and the patrollers of HNW for their dedication and assistance in combatting crime in the Village.
We encourage more residents to report crime to SAPS, no matter how small the incident. SAPS can only react to reported incidents. These statistics affect how and where they deploy their officers and vehicles and the planning of their operations. We have heard residents report some reluctance on the part of certain SAPS officers to take statements in ‘’smaller’’ matters. We encourage residents to take down the name of any officer they deal with for the purposes of reporting bad service delivery. There are procedures set out on how to deal with bad service delivery and as the HVCID Manager, I can assist with these processes. We need to hold SAPS accountable for poor service delivery, as we should commend them on their successes and positive assistance.
HVCID have been involved with several security initiatives during the course of the year.
• As crime continues to be a problem in the Village, several stakeholders got together to discuss the issue. These included representatives of HVCID, Harfield Village Association (“HVA’’), Friends Of Harfield Parks (“FOHP’’) and HNW. Two meetings have been held and points of discussion being followed up include inter alia:
– The capital and running costs of extending the camera footprint
– Revisiting the idea of a local security hub
– Deploying tactical response vehicles in the area to respond to camera alerts
– How role players including SAPS, Law Enforcement and private security companies can assist with reducing crime in the Village
– The possibility of a formal CID to be registered with the City
Once all the relevant information has been gathered and collated a public meeting will be held to present our findings and discuss options.
• Fidelity ADT have assisted in the past year to contributing to the security of the Village. Their assistance includes the following:
– Installation and monitoring of 2 license plate recognition cameras
– Monitoring of the HVCID and HNW license plate recognition cameras
– The deployment of a special response vehicle in the area to support Har-Lyn Watch volunteers when they are patrolling
– The deployment of a trailer in First Avenue for several months, which has now been moved to Purley Park. The cost of a security guard who mans this trailer and who patrols designated areas between 6 am and 6pm every day. The guard has also been deployed at the Montessori School in Second Avenue during drop off and pick up times.
We thank them for their ongoing support.
• The vagrancy issue at the car park near Fat Harrys has become very problematic and residents, business owners and HNW have reported an increase in crime in the area. We are speaking to Councillor Cottle, Councillor Iverson and several other stakeholders in the area on how to manage this situation.
• The City was approached to obtain permission to install a security gate at the entrance to the Harfield Village train station subway which would be locked at night, as the subway is sometimes used by suspects fleeing the scene of a crime. It was established that the land belongs to PRASA who has refused permission for a gate to be installed because of their policy of freedom of movement to people.
• Several residents along First Avenue and Worcester Street have reported prostitution, vagrancy and cable theft along the railway line. We approached PRASA and Metrorail to request more regular security patrols and to ensure the pedestrian gates along Harfield Village Road remain locked. This remains an ongoing issue and we, together with Harfield Pines, the Kenilworth Rate Payers Association and HNW continue to liaise with PRASA to resolve this problem.
• HVCID arranged our second safety awareness course in Surrey Park for child carers in the Village. The event was sponsored by Norgarb Properties. 52 child carers attended. SAPS, HNW and Fidelity ADT spoke to the carers about safety advice and they were given an opportunity to ask questions which was very interactive. A card with important contact numbers was handed out.
An update on the camera installations in the Village
– Several license plate recognition cameras have been installed by Fidelity ADT, HNW, HVCID and the City in and around the Village and we hope that we will be able to raise further funds to increase this footprint. It is difficult to report back on the successes of each individual camera, as the vehicle alerts are, for security and safety purposes, only shared with a few approved role players. It is well known, however, that areas who have a large LPR camera footprint do see a substantial decrease in crime, which is why HVCID would like to find ways to increase the number of cameras in the area.
– HVCID and Fidelity ADT have installed overview cameras at 7 different locations in the Village. As a result, we have been able to provide footage to SAPS about criminal activity which have resulted in several successful arrests.
– We are currently discussing with several service providers the extension of the camera footprint and securing quotes. We have also liaised with SAPS, HNW and other role players to identify the best positions for the various cameras.
– As many of you may know, I send out a weekly newsletter which includes crime statistics and relevant security and community information. If you are not already on our data base, please e-mail me on email@example.com.
– We are wanting to start a community street Whatsapp Group which will be an effective and prompt way to share relevant information with residents. The group will be strictly monitored to prevent chatter. If you are part of a street group, please ask your administrator to get in touch with me to share their details. We also encourage the administrator of Whatsapp groups for blocks of flats or complexes to share their details. You can send you details to me via Whatsapp 081 412 6109 or e-mail me on firstname.lastname@example.org