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Do your bit, know what’s up

Safety and security starts at home, and an effective way to protect yourself and your loved ones is by working closely with your neighbours to make your suburb safe.

In view of the recent unrest and looting in KZN and Gauteng, this is now even more important.

“Well coordinated community safety efforts allow the police and other law enforcement agencies to better deploy their resources in a way that protects larger areas. It boils down to a teamwork approach to driving crime out of suburbs,” says Charnel Hattingh, head of marketing and communications at Fidelity ADT.

“The best start is to make sure you know everyone in your immediate vicinity and have their contact details. You can look out for one another, and you are best placed to immediately see if anything out of the ordinary is happening. If something seems to be amiss, raise the alarm,” says Hattingh.

“Take note of any potential safety issues and raise it with your neighbours. This includes everything from broken fences, to open gates, to valuable items left unattended. The same goes for children or vulnerable members of your community – by simply caring for their safety, you can already make a difference.”

A practical way of staying in touch with neighbours, she adds, is to consider forming WhatsApp groups for every street. This can be a quick and effective way of sharing safety related information with neighbours. Hattingh also warns against the sharing of unverified information or fake news on any community platform or social media.

“Make sure everyone in your household – and in your street – also receives the correct contact details for all police, law enforcement and security partners in your area. In case of any emergency, please ensure that everyone knows exactly who to call so that valuable time is not wasted,” says Hattingh.

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