The Residential Action Group (RAG) security meeting took place at the Belgravia Bowling Club on Thursday, October 24, and had a capacity turnout from Bedfordview residents.
The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the high levels of crime, trends in the area, and ways to get the community involved in the RAG area. This included those in the greater Bedfordview area after the area had burglaries or armed robberies almost daily, with three incidents of crime taking place in one day last week.
The meeting was presented by RAG Chairman Mr Colin McKenzie and special guests included ward 20 councillor, Clr Michele Clarke, chairperson of the Bedfordview Community Police Forum Mrs Marina Constas and representatives of the SAPS, SESS Security and the Metro Police.
The meeting was a call to action for all residents to take charge of their personal security, spreading awareness of crime trends and statistics in the area and personal emergency plans in case of a crisis.
“We live in a high profile suburb that has a few newsworthy residents that further elevate the crime in the area. Bedfordview has statistically shown a gradual decline in robbery, burglaries and carjacking from 2010 to 2012, but in 2013 each crime increased slightly,” said Mr McKenzie.
“Trends show that currently in our area, most of the crime occurs between 9am and 3pm during weekdays. This is the time typically targeted for criminal activity, with the highest levels being on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. The most common criminal act is shifting towards forced entry, such as lifting gates and forcing openings with power tools,” said Mr McKenzie.
Mr McKenzie also proposed the possibility of gating communities for controlled access to some of the suburbs in Bedfordview.
“If we apply for permission to close the roads that enter into Townsend as well as Lavin and Kloof and provide controlled access points at the bottom end and top end of Pine and at the corner Bowling and Florence roads, we would effectively start living in a gated community,” said Mr McKenzie.
Clr Clarke had few remarks, but was assertive that she will see that plans are implemented.
“One incident of crime is one incident too much. With regards to the processes for closures, I will assist as much as possible in putting pressure on council and law enforcement agencies to achieve less crime,” said Clr Clarke.
Ms Constas also gave her input, saying, “We have to start getting involved in wanting improvement. The Bedfordview community is at a stage where the relationship between residents and police has never been better. I’m becoming more and more confident that as we continue to work together, there will be change.”
Ms Constas also gave high praise to the SAPS, Metro Police, The Domestic Worker’s Forum and the Patroller Coordination Project.
“Let us become a community, because unity is the key to combating crime,” said Ms Constas.