Stand together against crime

2018-01-24 06:00
Stuart Clarkson, Managing Executive for Fidelity ADT.Photo: Jeremy Glyn

Stuart Clarkson, Managing Executive for Fidelity ADT.Photo: Jeremy Glyn

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Your neighbours are often the first people to see if something is wrong at your home, which makes them the ideal partners in the fight against crime.

This is why Fidelity ADT Security issued a call on South Africans to become involved with their local community safety groups. These voluntary organisations have time and again been proven to make a diffe­rence.

“If we stand together with our next-door neighbours and look after each other, we can make our suburbs no-go zones for criminals,” says Stuart Clarkson, managing executive for Fidelity ADT.

If you have just moved into a new suburb, he recommends making the effort to meet the people who live next door as soon as possible and to share contact details with them. They could also provide useful advice on existing community safety organisations in the area.

In other instances, your local security company can also put you in touch with members from your community safety organisation.

Not all communities set up formal neighbourhood watches, but this does not mean there is nothing residents can do in terms of organising themselves.

“If you don’t have a community watch, we suggest setting up regular meetings with the local SAPS to come up with ideas on how you could assist them in keeping the area safe. It could be as simple as sharing tips and advice and having a reliable list of contact details for each other. The point is – we all have a part to play and we simply can no longer be idle bystanders when it comes to our own safety,” says Clarkson.

He strongly urges anyone who lives in an area where a neighbourhood or community watch has already been set up to become involved with the organisation as a matter of urgency.

Knowing who lives in your area and engaging with your community often leads to combined security implementation. These have a far greater impact on an area than individual efforts, he explains.

When neighbours start sharing security tips and reporting suspicious individuals or vehicles, security providers and the SAPS are able to get a better understanding of the activity in the area and implement effective crime prevention tactics.

Clarkson says it is important to introduce your children to your neighbours.

“For example, you can agree to keep an eye on each other’s children when they are playing in the garden.

“Teach your children to go over to one of your neighbours if they are home alone and feel unsafe.”

Another good idea is to write the contact details of at least one or two of your neighbours on your list of emergency services’ numbers and keep this near your telephone. A neighbour can assist until emergency services arrive.

“The men and women of the SAPS simply cannot be everywhere all the time,” says Clarkson.

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