EDITOR – I refer to Frank Payne’s letter (Crime prevention starts with pro-active action). As the current chairman of the Residents Action Group (RAG) Bedfordview, I am slowly seeing a movement towards a united community.
I have mentioned on a number of occasions that we, as community members, are divided and ruled by the endless ineffective security companies that are all trying to get some of our hard-earned money by producing ineffective results.
Weekly I meet with Sess regarding the previous week’s performance and how we are able to improve the service.
Sess, the appointed RAG service provider, continues to work with RAG’s dedicated small committee in an effort to reduce crime.
Less than 40 percent of the residents pay towards this. Others introduce new companies, both corporate and startup, all the time. What is most interesting is residents contract non-registered and non-compliant people and companies as they are more “affordable”.
As we saw in the recent raid, mostly in the RAG area, 25 illegal guards employed by the residents, mostly not subscribed to the RAG initiative and using non-Sess guards, were arrested. The crime frequency and number dropped drastically in the area in the weeks following this sweep.
Sess and RAG were approached by a number of these residents to provide a quote for replacement guards. Sess, being one of possibly two other companies that did not have one guard arrested in the sweep, fully complies.
The expectation is that this service be provided at the same price as the previous company. It is impossible to do this as the expected fee of R36k for six posted guards monthly. It would need to at least be the legislated direct cost of R60k. A registered 12-hour shift of accredited guards cannot cost less that the PSIRA-gazetted cost of around R9k excluding vat and company profit.
CAP has been approached on a number of topics. Included is an evaluation of the open public areas as well as the area defined by RAG and a second area being defined by the greater Sector 2 with major boundaries being the highway, the mountain, and stretching from AG de Witt in the east to Van Buuren in the west where the highway bridge crosses Van Buuren Road.
There are options on the understanding of what they would require to manage the public spaces within this zone and the costs and options around this. I will most likely meet with them in a week’s time to discuss this with them.
Another presentation will be held at our RAG annual general meeting which is planned for August 1.
Obviously it would only include CAP’s proposals that could effect or assist the RAG defined areas.
Membership is growing weekly for RAG and Sess, but the contribution collected is still a far cry from what we would need as a community to make a significant difference.
The bottom line is that the residents of logical zones need to agree to disagree and support the initiatives in that zone, or step-up and become active in that zone and lead the charge.
I get regular complaints, suggestions and challenges as to what the RAG committee is doing to secure the member/s complaining.
The committee and I are also just volunteer residents trying to make a difference. When the most vocal residents are then asked to join the committee and do something instead of sitting on the outside complaining and critiquing our efforts, it would be a better place to live, but they are not willing to step forward most of the time.
So if you actually have read to this point, find your local community body and support them by joining and using what has been chosen by the community at the time. They do not have a vested or financial interest in this and do it as a gesture of goodwill. Let’s rid this community of the useless security companies that are only interested in their malarkey share and margin.
A special thanks to Jill Humphreys, Gavin Henry, the Bedfordview CPF and Gail. I work with and they work with me under similar conditions. We need your support and funding to achieve better results.
Lastly, a thought to ponder. If you only had the entry level Wimpy breakfast every day for a month and this excludes a drink, you would spend R750. So why is it such a problem to spend at least this on your entire family’s safety?
RAG Bedfordview Chairman.