Crime is an ongoing problem in South Africa, and the bad news is that crime levels tend to increase markedly over the festive season. Greater community involvement is one of the best ways to prevent crime and increase safety in a neighbourhood, and this is exactly what OurHood strives to do. Firstly, by connecting verified neighbours with their community, allowing them to access important local information, share community updates and form live chat groups with neighbours. And secondly, by giving community organisations such as neighbourhood watches, civic associations and residents’ forums a direct channel to communicate with the community they serve.
‘An analysis of the monthly national crime data for the five years from April 2006 to March 2011 revealed that murder and serious assault increased by as much as 50% during December each year, while incidents of burglary increased by 8%’ ~ Mail & Guardian
So why does crime increase over the festive period? Partly, it is due to more people consuming alcohol and recreational drugs, which in turn can lead to arguments spiralling out of control. Yet a lot of the crime is also opportunistic. With more people spending time outdoors, or people going away for Christmas, there is more opportunity for opportunistic crimes such as burglaries.
Whilst police do respond to this increase in crime through various strategies such as road blocks, awareness campaigns and the deployment of new police recruits, it is important for communities to be aware and vigilant. Greater community involvement will help to build stronger local structures and prevent crime in your area.
How to increase security in your neighbourhood
- Discuss the neighbourhood crime situation with your local police, private security companies such as Neighbourhood Watches (NHW) and community policing structures.
- NHW and RPA must increase patrols or protection of and keep residents up to date on the OurHood App.
- Always lock your doors when you leave the house. And if you your door is accessible from the street, make sure to lock your doors when you are in the garden.
- If you are going away, make sure to lock up securely, and ask a trusted neighbour to keep an eye on your property using OurHood.
- Always report any suspicious activities to the local police or NHW/RPA and post it on the OurHood App so that neighbours stay informed – Members can keep updated on any crime or suspicious activity by posting alerts which trigger email, SMS and push notifications to users in the neighbourhood.
General safety tips this festive season
- Drink alcohol responsibly.
- Never walk home alone – remember safety in numbers.
- If you are going out, plan your night out. Tell someone where you are going and when you will be back. Always plan how you will get home, whether that is driving (if you are not drinking), catching a lift from a friend, or using Bolt or Uber.
- When possible, park and lock your cars in secure, and preferably well-lit areas.
Help us in our mission is to connect neighbours and create safer communities across South Africa, by downloading the app (using the links below) and signing up today! Or if you’d like to suggest a community partner, email us at [email protected] and we’ll contact your local organisation.
The OurHood Team 🙂
Connecting Neighbours and Strengthening Communities.
Download the OurHood App and stay in the loop of what is going on in your neighbourhood anytime, anywhere. Among other features, users can instantly post messages and alerts, chat to neighbours in real-time and receive important notifications.
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