The crime situation in our lovely country is now completely out of control. Just where you turn there are stories of break ins, Hijackings, shootings and murder.
The authorities claim its under control and not as bad as it seems, but who they trying to kid. I have been staying in the same area in Benoni in excess of 50 years and have seen the area degrade and crime take over.
Just this morning, in a crime info group run by Top Security there was a report of an armed robbery in Farrarmere. The resident was apparently shot in the process. Maybe, just maybe there will be some mention of this in the local newspaper.
Drug abuse and Crime
The drug situation has become an epidemic in our once lovely town. I know of so many addicts in just our area and am sure everyone is aware of users. Quite a few of these addicts have resorted to crime in order to feed their addictions. I am sure, but stand to be corrected, that most of the break ins that occur are mostly linked to some substance abuse.
The high unemployment rate is not helping the situation either. How much crime is being committed by individuals needing money to survive, maybe even to feed spouses and children.
It seems that the drug abuse problem is not something that is going to go away soon. The local SAPS, Metro Police, CPF and Security Companies are fighting a loosing battle. The problem seems to just grow month by month.
I was involved in our local CPF and Anti Drug Initiative for 5 years. In those 5 years I saw the efforts of members trying their utter best to make a difference. The results were not forthcoming. The system seems to be so broken that these dealers are back on the streets in a few days.
What can we do!!?
Protecting ourselves against crime
We stay in quite a beautiful part of Farrarmere, Benoni. Two roads separated by a rather large park. I grew up in this area with not a hint of crime or any reason to be afraid of ones life.
It is often said that in years gone by, our sign that we have to get home was the switching on of the street lights. True statement! We played in the park and neighbourhood and parents had no worries about our safety.
This is no longer the case. Now its a time of high walls, palisade fencing, electric fences and burglar alarms. Security Companies and SAPS vehicles patrol the area and residents are locked up in their homes.
I joined the local CPF with the hopes of making a difference. After 5 years I realized that the crime happening in our area around the park was carrying on regardless. The CPF patrollers were just spread too thin across the suburbs to really make much of a difference. I left this amazing community initiative due to other commitments.
In a perfect world, every resident of a suburb or town, would be involved in the fight against crime. If this was possible then we as communities stand a good chance of driving these bad apples out of our areas. But as hard as I and others tried to get people involved, it was an uphill battle. Many residents are not able to patrol or don’t feel that they can, which is understandable. Many have other commitments and many just have no interest.
Sad but this is the reality. We cant rely purely on the authorities and security companies to look after us – we have to do something to help!
We have created a Whatsapp Group for our little area, allowing the residents to communicate. Many reports of crime and suspicious activity is reported in this group with no resolve. I have tried to convince members that we must start an old fashioned Neighborhood Watch. There is some interest but most are quiet with little or no suggestions.
I have no problem riding the streets in our area for a few hours every night but I too have a day job. If there were many others willing to do the same for a few hours at night, I am sure we can secure our area.
I am asking and pleading to hear from residents or communities what they have done to make their area’s safe and free of crime. Please contact me with suggestions on what you have done or what we can do and how we can do it. The big question is – How to get people interested to work together as a tight group to accomplish results?