SAFETY AND SECURITY

RESIDENTIAL BURGLARIES AND ROBBERIES -
THE INSIDE STORY

Unfortunately many residential robberies and burglaries are achieved with the assistance of inside information and help. Sandton SAPS Station Commander Brigadier Moodley cautions residents when employing either permanent or temporary staff. Carry out proper reference checks and request to see their original ID document. Obtain a copy of their ID for your records. Be wary if someone is prepared to work for a very low salary - they may be planning something bigger. You can also request new or existing employees to accompany you to the Sandton Police Station for police clearance and fingerprints. In addition, be circumspect when sharing information about items of value inside your house.Nobody except trusted members of your family should know the location of your safe or how much cash you keep on the premises. Lock away expensive jewellery and never disclose information such as when you are going to draw large quantities of cash from an ATM.


DOMESTIC WATCH

Domestic Watch is a crime prevention and security awareness initiative aimed at training people employed in domestic capacities who are well placed to notice suspicious or unlawful activities in their area of work.

The Domestic Watch programme in Sandton offers monthly training sessions to domestic workers, gardeners and anyone else who would like to attend. The training topics cover all aspects of safety and security.

According to SAPS, there has been a positive impact on crime reduction in areas where this community-driven initiative has been implemented. The training sessions take place once a month and last for one hour. Different areas have their own venue and specific training dates and times.

Domestic Watch training modules include:    

  • Abuse is a crime
  • Anonymous SMS line 32211
  • Become the guard at the gate
  • Child protection
  • Contributing to the police
  • Crime methods – residential attacks
  • Crime prevention travelling tips
  • Drugs, alcohol and illegal shebeens
  • Emergency medical care
  • Fraud and corruption
  • Habits and Routines
  • Holiday season lessons
  • House breaking – a criminal’s profile
  • Household employees – are you serious about your role?
  • How to become a victim supporter
  • Inside information and house robberies
  • Know your neighbour
  • Let’s count our blessings
  • Rape
  • Reporting crime
  • Reporting crime procedures
  • Safe house keeping
  • Scams
  • Self defence
  • Serious and violent crimes and avoiding violence in an attack
  • Teaching others about crime prevention
  • Telephones – safeguarding personal and employers information
  • The choice – why committing crime is a personal decision
  • Volunteers – how to bring down crime
  • What do security companies do?
  • What do the police do?
  • What to do during and after a crime has occurred
  • What is the Flying Squad?
  • What makes you feel safe?
  • Your commitment to yourself – educating yourself about crime

A comprehensive Domestic Watch programme is written and presented by Penny Steyn, together with other volunteers from the community. Many Security Companies also offer Domestic Watch training. These programmes impart knowledge and skills development to attendees and are beneficial to employers for heightened security and safety at home.

Find out from your local Security Company about their local programme or contact Penny Steyn at  madpenny@absamail.co.za / 082 461 6968 for venues, dates, times and costs.

Alternatively please email Louise Agar at the Sandton CPF at louiseag@telkomsa.net for more information.


JMPD ANTI-CORRUPTION HOTLINE 

Members of the community who are stopped by JMPD officers and asked for a bribe should report the incident to the JMPD Hotline on 0800 203 712. Take note of the date, time and location of the incident, as well as the name of the officer, if possible.


6-STEP PROTOCOL FOR REPORTING CRIME INCIDENTS

1. Press your panic button to summons your security provider.

2. call 10111. Give your precise details - name, location and crime in progres. Make sure you get a reference number.

3. Contact your SAPS Sector vehicles (listed on the right hand side of this page). In most instances your security company will also called the SAPS.

4. If the Sector vehicle does not answer - contact the Relief Commander on 082 371 6504.

5. If the Relief Commander does not answer - call the Station Duty Officer on 082 304 9562 (on call 24/7).

6. If you have followed the above procedures and received absolutely no service or assistance, contact the Vispol Commander, Detective Commander and Station Commander. These numbers are available from the Sandton CPF Liaison Officer Yogi Govender on 011 722 4317.

NB. General enquiries for Sector policing, general concerns or complaints can be directed to the relevant SAPS Sector Commander during office hours. See the Important Numbers page on this website for your Sector Commander details.


REDUCE  YOUR RISK

According to the SAPS incidence reports, the crimes that are most affecting Sandton residents are car jamming, theft out of motor vehicles, smash and grabs, house robberies and house burglaries (often resulting from inside information) and hijackings. It is well worth remembering that many crimes are opportunistic and can be avoided.

  • Be vigilant when driving. Put your mobile phone away and take notice of your surroundings. Check your mirrors to ensure you aren't being followed home and scan your environment when you stop at a traffic light.
  • If you suspect you are being followed home, go to your nearest police station or phone your security company to escort you home. Once you are in your driveway, the exit can be blocked by would-be hijackers and you won't have an escape route.
  • If you see a vehicle that looks suspicious (driving slowly through your area, three or four occupants), phone your security company immediately and report it. Try and get the registration number and note the make and colour of the vehicle, but NEVER approach the vehicle directly. You could prevent a crime taking place.
  • Turn on your house alarm early and lock your security gates.
  • Make sure your phone is up to date with the correct emergency contact numbers.
  • Send your domestic worker and gardener on the Domestic Watch programme. Contact the Sandton CPF at admin@sandtoncpf.co.za to find out the venue of your nearest Domestic Watch.
  • Be careful about who has access to your home. Change locks, keys, keypad codes and passwords if necessary. Studies show that many residential crimes are due to inside information. People who could have access to your property include disgruntled ex-employees, service providers, removal companies and contractors.
  • Set up a WhatsApp group for your road or enclosure to share security information with your neighbours. Use it for security only, otherwise people may leave the group due to receiving too many messages and irrelevant information.


FIREWORKS LEGISLATION

During the festive season, fireworks may only be used on Christmas Eve (from 7pm to 10pm), Day of Goodwill (from 7pm to 10pm), New Year’s Eve (from 11pm to 1am) and New Year’s Day (from 7pm to 10pm).

JMPD spokesman Chief Superintendent Wayne Minnaar.Minnaar says Metro police officers are responsible for enforcing by-laws, while Johannesburg Emergency Management Services personnel respond to injuries and fires caused, in this case, by fireworks.

Minnaar has appealed to the public to behave in a responsible manner so they can enjoy the festivities. The following are some of the provisions in the City by-laws regulating the use of fireworks:

  • No person may deal in fireworks unless he or she holds the required fireworks licence in terms of the Explosives Act;
  • No person under age of 16 must use explosives without adult supervision;
  • Fireworks must not be used near animals inside any building, on agricultural holdings or in public places. Fireworks must not be used within 500m of an explosives factory or storage facility, petrol depot or petrol station, school, old age home or hospital. 
  • Fines of between R500 and R1500 will be issued to anyone who contravenes any of the city's bylaws. According to the City of Joburg, "No person may terrify or cause stress or fear to any dog with fireworks or by any other means."
  • Fireworks must always be used in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Fireworks should be handled by adults and children should watch the display from a distance. To stage a public fireworks display, organisers need written permission from the Fireworks Working Committee or Chief Fire Officer in their region.
  • Fireworks are legally permitted on days of cultural and religious celebrations, including Diwali, Chinese New Year, Human Rights Day, Guy Fawkes Day, Christmas Eve and the Day of Goodwill. However, the fireworks may only be set off at stipulated times (2017 times to be confirmed).

To report contravention of fireworks legislation or an emergency related to fireworks, contact the JMPD via CoJ Emergency Connect on 011 375 5911.

Sources:
www.joburg.org.za
www.ewn.co.za


HOW TO CLAIM FOR POTHOLE DAMAGE

According to the Johannesburg Roads Agency (JRA, the public may lodge a claim with the JRA’s Legal Department for alleged damages suffered due to road and/or infrastructure (such as manhole or kerb inlet) that  the JRA as a municipal-owned entity of the City of Johannesburg is mandated to maintain. This is according to JRA spokesperson Bertha Peters-Scheepers.

There are a couple of procedures that have to be followed in order to claim. In addition to completing the claim form, you will be required to attach the following documents:

  • Police affidavit  
  • Copy of driver’s license of the claimant (in case of vehicle damage)  
  • Vehicle registration documents (in case of vehicle damage)  
  • Copy of ID  
  • Photos of the damage to the car (in case of vehicle damage)  
  • Three quotations or invoice/proof of payment  
  • Letter from insurance company confirming that the claim was not logged to own insurance  
  • Doctor’s report if there is personal injury.

JRA recommends that you either email or fax the documents. Doing both only delays the process.

CLAIMS Contact details:
Public Liability Claims (damage to property or personal injury) to be directed to:
Ms Carol Ngubane
P.O. Box 1450
Braamfontein
2017
Tel: 011 491-5734
Fax: 086 206-5294
Email: cngubane@jra.org.za

Submit claims form electronically to:
claims@jra.org.za


TALK TO EACH OTHER

One of the most effective ways that residents can communicate with one another on security matters is through a WhatsApp group, which link communities together in real time. If you would like some advice on how to set up a WhatsApp security group for your neighbourhood, street or road closure,  please contact the Sandton CPF at admin@sandtoncpf.co.za.