Security update July 2014

We do like to write happy feel good emails but this is not always possible.  When living in stressful times it is important to keep a positive outlook as we are fed so much negativity all the time.  This is the route we at Sunninghill Community like to take.  Work with rather than against, you get so much more help that way.  HOWEVER being informed is being prepared and we cannot pretend that everything is “A Ok”.

The face of crime is changing in a very disturbing way.  If one had to look at crime statistics one might or might not be able to say that crime in general has decreased or increased.  What we can say with certainty is that crimes such as theft out of motor vehicles have increased dramatically; we can also say there has been an increase in theft of motor vehicles.  Not nice and these crimes certainly have had a negative effect on our total crime stats in Sunninghill.  What is of enormous concern to us however is the trend in violent crimes.  Robbery with firearms has increased dramatically all over and not just in Sandton.  Sunninghill too has seen an increase in these crimes.   We have mentioned these warnings in emails before – follow from the shopping centre – follow from the bank – follow from the airport – following expensive cars –  robbing these victims at the side of the road or at the entrance to their home or office park.  Violent crimes in the past have not resulted in many injuries and criminals using firearms in the past, generally used them for intimidation purposes but seldom hurt their victims – unless they felt really threatened.  These cases were few and far between.  It is alarming to see that this trend seems to be changing.  These gangs seem to becoming more and more violent and trigger happy and we can see this from reports of shootings and fatalities – including in Sandton.

Some positives are that there have been a number of arrests of violent criminals by Sandton detectives; HOWEVER, many of these criminals, according to reports are out on bail for previous armed robberies.  A number of these gangs cannot be identified by their victims because they wear balaclavas and gloves – in these cases the assumption can be made “it is because they are in the system” i.e. they are out on bail for other crimes committed.  This makes the job of the detectives even more difficult.  We can also make the assumption that “our judicial system (courts) are failing us.  Why are so many out on bail and committing crimes while out on bail?  Inadequate preparation by detectives? Sometimes probably, but Sandton have a strong detective team and in their case it might happen but the bigger problem lies with the courts and the frustration levels amongst those police officers who perform the arrest and work hard on convictions is high.

We write this email to you to:

a)     Warn you of what is going on around us.  To try and make you more aware of your surroundings and alert to not wearing expensive jewellery, not drawing money in large volumes from banks, alert you to be aware of vehicles around you that could be following you etc.

b)     To inform you, that the security infrastructure in Sunninghill makes us less vulnerable to these crimes – 4 dedicated patrol vehicles, 54 live monitored CCTV cameras.  This does not mean that we have not and cannot be victim to these criminals but our security infrastructure does make a difference.  Many residents and businesses think that Sunninghill is as it is and do not understand that a lot of work, money and continued work goes into trying to keep criminals away from our area.  Again we can complain as much as we like BUT our working with the police and providing them with access to our infrastructure makes a huge difference.  Ask any of the senior officers at Sandton about how Sunninghill Community works in a positive way with the Police to eradicate crime in Sunninghill!!  They will tell you.  WORK WITH THE AUTHORITIES!!

c)     Given the above and the economic climate we find ourselves in.  We are also finding that when residents/ complexes and businesses find that they “need to tighten their belts” financially, one of the first amounts they consider cancelling is their membership with Sunninghill Community.  We are not just a Ratepayers Association that people contribute towards but provide a tangible service.  We have to pay those we contract to assist us in crime prevention.  If people perceive that Sunninghill is safe so we don’t need to contribute or perceive they are making a charitable contribution and as a result we are forced to cut back on the work we do –  you WILL SEE crime return to Sunninghill.  If crime returns it will become almost impossible to reverse the trend.  READ THE PAPERS; see what is going on around us.

We need your continued support and the support of those who are not yet members of the Ratepayers Association.  Your support is not only vital to our investments but the safety of those who work and live in this wonderful suburb.

Kind regards to you all

Linda Gildenhuys

Sunninghill Community Security

The security branch of your Ratepayers Association

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