Voortrekker road is one of the main transport arteries between Bellville and Cape Town. Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)

Cape Town - A local armed response company has called on residents and business owners to support each other and work with security and law enforcement role-players to drive crime out of Goodwood. 

The call comes in the wake of a reported increase in crime in the area.

“If we stand together with our next-door neighbours and fellow business owners and look after each other, we can make this suburb a ‘no-go zones’ for criminals,” said Verena Hulme, Fidelity ADT’s Cape Town North district manager.

The company says it has briefed its armed response officers in the Goodwood and surrounding areas to increase patrols along suspected hot-spot areas. 

A specialised tactical response vehicle will also be re-deployed to the area.

“We launched the specialised vehicle in neighbouring Parow early in May, and will use it to now also bolster patrols in Goodwood. The vehicle is operated by highly-trained armed response officers equipped with a unique skill-set. 

"They are in constant communication with our monitoring centre team who manage alerts from residents, community WhatsApp groups and partnering neighbourhood watches in the suburb,” says Hulme.

Neighbours are often the first people to see if something is wrong at your home or place of work, which makes them the ideal partners in the fight against crime, says Hulme. 

She recommends making the effort to meet the people who live next door as soon as possible and share contact details with them. They could also provide useful advice on existing community safety organizations in the area.

Knowing who lives in your area and engaging with your community often leads to combined security implementation and this has a far greater impact than individual efforts, she 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.

Hulme says it is also very important to introduce your children to your neighbours. You can for instance agree to keep an eye on each other’s kids 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. In the event that something happens to you or a loved one in your home, a neighbour will be able to assist until emergency services arrive.

“The men and women of the SAPS simply cannot be everywhere all the time. Neighbours that care of each other and are active participants in the safety of their suburb can make a massive difference,” says Hulme.

Cape Argus