Plans to step up security

2015-05-05 06:00

Harfield Village Community Improvement District committee members from left to right (back row are, Julian Jackson, Tamsin Randle, Bruce Burmeister, HVCID chairperson. Middle row from left, Madge Gibson, Bonnie Berkowitz, Caryn Rwaling, Hendrik Clo

Harfield Village Community Improvement District committee members from left to right (back row are, Julian Jackson, Tamsin Randle, Bruce Burmeister, HVCID chairperson. Middle row from left, Madge Gibson, Bonnie Berkowitz, Caryn Rwaling, Hendrik Clo

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Steps have been taken to enhance safety in Harfield Village through a partnership between the ­area’s recently formed Community Improvement District and a private security company.

As part of the agreement, the private security company has been providing two dedicated armed response vehicles to the area since 1 April to increase the visibility of security on the ground.

The partnership also aims to provide better response times and to deter criminal ­activity.

Bruce Burmeister, chairperson of the newly established Harfield Village Community Improvement District (HVCID), says as crime in Harfield Village has risen sharply over the years residents felt it had reached a point where they needed to intervene ­directly.

Burmeister says by creating a CID the residents take direct control of their streets, not just their properties, and prevent the majority of crime from reaching their front doors. “In September last year, a group of dedicated residents began to engage with the various security companies in the ­area.

“And on 1 ­December a meeting was held where a large group of residents attended and spoke with the same voice and intensity; they had simply had enough,” he says.

He says the main objectives of the CID is to proactively implement safety and security measures in order to combat escalating crime in the community as well as to create a safe, secure environment for all residents and children in the community.

Burmeister says HVCID is run by a 20-strong team of residents from Harfield Village. In working together, the residents have formed their own voluntary CID that will ensure a safer area.

“In doing so the value of the property continues to grow as well. With the increase in crime and vagrancy, this is an opportunity for residents to take ownership of their security,” he says.

Burmeister says now that the CID has been established a hub will be installed in the area as a base for an operator to connect the community, the HVCID and the security company.

This means that residents who subscribe will have direct cellphone access to the two dedicated armed response vehicles for a more immediate response to a threat or emergency.

“The CID will work with the community to keep the village, streets and parks safe for all residents through the central hub, street captains, selected security companies as well as police forums,” Burmeister says.

“A service like this improves community safety through effective patrolling on the streets, faster reaction time to alarms, armed response officers who are familiar with the HVCID and may not leave the area and a dedicated full-time hub and manager to contact and liaise with on crime issues,” he says.

Burmeister says the CID was created to encourage and ­increase residents’ involvement in ­securing the community. “Our partnership with the private security company will reinforce this and play an integral role to help curb crime in our area,” he adds.

Rob Dale, managing director of the private security company, says in any community, this kind of partnership “adds steel to existing security measures”.

“We are proud to work with the CID to bolster security in this neighbourhood. We have a track record of many similar partnerships in the province with great success and are looking forward to helping make ­Harfield a safer place through the committee and its residents,” Dale says

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