Community involvement is key to crime prevention – Get to know your neighbours

adtA local private security company has urged residents to take a unified approach to crime prevention in their neighbourhoods.

“In our experience, we have seen success in this regard in communities where residents are actively involved, and know their neighbours and neighbourhoods,” said Rob Dale, Managing Director of ADT Security’s East Coast Region.

Neighbours are the most likely to be the first to identify a possible problem in the street or at a home. Dale said that awareness of neighbours’ daily routines, and those of the domestic staff, as well as the surroundings of the neighbourhood, makes it easier to notice suspicious people, vehicles and activity.

“We encourage neighbours to share security tips. It is also important to report suspicious individuals, or vehicles, to security providers or the South African Police Service as this will enhance their understanding of activity in the area and implement effective crime prevention tactics.”

Dale suggested that neighbours regularly discuss ways to keep their families and homes safe. He also proposed the following:

  • Exchange cell phone numbers so that you are able to contact each other when necessary.
  • Agree to keep an eye on one another’s properties and to contact the other about suspicious people or when something appears out of place.
  • If either or both of you travel often or takes regular holidays, talk about doing small chores for each other while you are away; such as removing mail from the post-box daily and switching on inside and outdoor lights so that your home does not appear unoccupied.

Dale said it is also very important to introduce your children to your neighbours.

“Agree to keep an eye on each other’s children when they are playing in the garden. Also, teach your children that if they are ever home alone and feel unsafe, they can go over to one of these neighbours and wait there until you can be contacted and can come home.”

“By working together as each other’s eyes and ears, you, your neighbours, the SAPS and security providers can make your suburb a no-go zone for criminals.”

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