A­not­her boost for cri­me fig­hting in P­lett

Knysna-Plett Herald - - Crime - Yo­lan­dé S­tan­der

C­ri­mi­nals in P­let­ten­berg Bay now ha­ve one mo­re re­a­son to shake in their boots af­ter lo­cal cri­me fig­h­ters bol­ste­red their re­sour­ces by a­cqui­ring a mo­tor­cy­cle to pur­sue sus­pects.

Lo­cal se­cu­ri­ty com­pa­nies Sm­hart Alarms and P­lett Se­cu­ri­ty do­na­ted a mo­tor­cy­cle to the P­let­ten­berg Bay Cri­me Pre­ven­ti­on As­so­ci­a­ti­on (PBCPA) and t­his was han­ded o­ver to the or­ga­ni­sa­ti­on at the For­mo­sa

Gar­den Vil­la­ge on Mon­day 2 Ju­ly.

PBCPA chair Bru­ce Ri­chard­son said the mo­tor­cy­cle would boost their ef­forts dra­ma­ti­cal­ly. “A mo­tor­cy­cle is much mo­re ma­noeu­vra­ble and can pur­sue sus­pects do­wn bush pat­hs and pla­ces w­he­re mo­tor vehi­cles can’t go,” he said. Shared cos­ts

PBCPA mem­ber Ri­a­na Ven­ter will be tas­ked to u­ti­li­se the mo­tor­cy­cle in their cri­me-fig­hting ef­forts whi­le the two se­cu­ri­ty com­pa­nies will ab­sorb the main­te­nan­ce and in­su­ran­ce cos­ts.

Lo­cal Ro­ta­ry Anns spon­so­red the mo­tor­cy­cle clo­thing and John Wil­schut and Chris­ti­ne Tem­ple­man the sig­na­ge.

The PBCPA, which con­sis­ts of va­ri­ous sa­fe­ty and se­cu­ri­ty sta­ke­hol­ders from the po­li­ce and Bi­tou mu­ni­ci­pal law en­for­ce­ment to se­cu­ri­ty com­pa­nies and mem­bers of the com­mu­ni­ty, has o­ver the past eig­ht y­e­ars ste­a­di­ly built up their re­sour­ces in an ef­fort to sa­fe­guard P­lett re­si­dents and to sup­port lo­cal cri­me-fig­hting aut­ho­ri­ties.

T­he­se re­sour­ces now in­clu­de not on­ly the mo­tor­cy­cle but al­so a dog u­nit, a ra­pid re­spon­se te­am, a JOCC, a CCTV con­t­rol room and va­ri­ous ot­her re­sour­ces. ‘One of the sa­fest towns’

“I firm­ly be­lie­ve that P­let­ten­berg Bay is one of the sa­fest towns on the pla­net. And the re­a­son I say t­his is be­cau­se t­his com­mu­ni­ty has co­me to­get­her to ma­ke it so. Com­mu­ni­ty par­ti­ci­pa­ti­on is so im­por­tant. You ha­ve a si­tu­a­ti­on w­he­re help is c­lo­se at hand if you are in trou­ble. You can pho­ne the PBCPA and so­meo­ne will be the­re to as­sist you in a mat­ter of mi­nu­tes,” Ri­chard­son said.

O­pe­ra­ti­ons he­ad Ot­to O­li­vier ad­ded that in no way is the PBCPA a re­pla­ce­ment for for­mal law en­for­ce­ment, but it plays a ma­jor ro­le in sup­por­ting them.

“The strength of the bonds built on trust o­ver ti­me has re­sul­ted in a gre­at wor­king re­la­ti­ons­hip be­t­ween all se­cu­ri­ty and e­mer­gen­cy sta­ke­hol­ders. The PBCPA mem­bers grew in­to a for­mi­da­ble cri­me pre­ven­ti­on for­ce.” Pul­ling re­sour­ces

The PBCPA exe­cu­ti­ve te­am con­sis­ts of the P­lett po­li­ce com­man­der, the Bi­tou Pu­blic Sa­fe­ty com­man­der, va­ri­ous se­cu­ri­ty com­pa­ny o­w­ners and ma­na­gers, e­mer­gen­cy ser­vi­ces o­w­ners and ma­na­gers, the com­mu­ni­ty po­li­ce fo­rums of K­wa­no­kut­hu­la and P­lett, and P­lett bu­si­nes­smen.

O­li­vier said that pu­blic or­der po­li­ce are de­ploy­ed du­ring se­ri­ous incidents. T­he­se in­clu­de a­ny­thing from farm at­tacks to ri­ots. “T­his highly trai­ned spe­ci­a­li­sed te­am is sta­ti­o­ned in Ge­or­ge and it ta­kes them an hour or mo­re to get to P­lett. Du­ring the farm at­tacks in the Bosch­fon­tein/Wit­te­drift a­rea the pro­blem was dis­cus­sed with va­ri­ous mem­bers and acti­ve neig­hbour­hood re­spon­se and pa­trol te­ams. The need for a qua­li­fied and trai­ned ra­pid re­spon­se te­am was i­den­ti­fied.”

So far 10 mem­bers ha­ve for­med part of t­his te­am. Gre­at skills im­pro­vement

“Ra­pid re­spon­se te­am cri­me si­mu­la­ti­on and fit­ness trai­ning star­ted a cou­ple mont­hs ago. Va­ri­ous dif­fe­rent cri­me sce­na­ri­os we­re set up a­cross P­lett for trai­ning pur­po­ses and all was com­ple­ted success­ful­ly. The te­am’s skills de­ve­lop­ment im­pro­ved with le­aps and bounds.”

O­li­vier said that du­ring a re­cent farm at­tack si­mu­la­ti­on on Ai­r­port Ro­ad, the ra­pid re­spon­se te­am exe­cu­ted the cor­rect pro­to­cols, cor­recti­ve action was ta­ken and pro­ce­du­res ad­he­red to which re­sul­ted in a po­si­ti­ve out­co­me. “The si­mu­la­ti­on was ra­ted by a high-ran­king po­li­ce of­fi­cer as ex­cel­lent and ga­ve the te­am his vo­te of con­fi­den­ce.” ‘Va­lu­a­ble im­pact in com­mu­ni­ty’

O­li­vier said that du­ring the re­cent ri­ots e­very ra­pid re­spon­se mem­ber pro­ved their worth.

“T­hey had a va­lu­a­ble im­pact, es­pe­ci­al­ly du­ring the first nig­ht w­hen the protest e­vol­ved in­to cri­mi­na­li­ty. Their swift action pre­ven­ted furt­her loss, w­hen two bu­si­ness pre­mi­ses we­re loo­t­ed and ran­sac­ked.”

The PBCPA al­so has a 24/7 con­t­rol room which in­clu­des CCTV foota­ge, from a­cross to­wn. Tho­se mo­ni­to­ring ha­ve been trai­ned to spot sus­pi­ci­ous acti­vi­ty or in­di­vi­du­als through se­ver­al ways, in­clu­ding bo­dy­lan­gua­ge re­a­ding. All as­sis­tan­ce for own cost

The PBCPA pu­blic dom­ain CCTV ca­me­ra pro­ject main­te­nan­ce and ca­me­ra foota­ge re­lay to the con­t­rol room is spon­so­red by The Com­pu­ter Shop at a mi­ni­mal cost and ADT re­cent­ly spon­so­red the re­pla­ce­ment of a bro­ken ca­me­ra at the Be­a­con I­sle Ho­tel.

The o­pe­ra­ti­o­nal cos­ts for t­his con­t­rol room are car­ried by Sm­hart Alarms and P­lett Se­cu­ri­ty whi­le e­ach se­cu­ri­ty com­pa­ny car­ries the cost of their re­spon­ses to va­ri­ous si­tu­a­ti­ons. Neig­hbour­hood wa­tch group vo­lun­teers car­ry all their cos­ts – from pe­trol and vehi­cle use to cel­lp­ho­ne and da­ta cos­ts.

Af­ter last y­e­ar’s Ju­ne fi­res, O­li­vier said, the ne­ces­si­ty for a mo­bi­le JOCC was i­den­ti­fied. “Two se­cu­ri­ty com­pa­nies boug­ht the ca­ra­van, Be­a­con I­sle K­wik S­par spon­so­red the bran­ding and Bu­co the po­wer sy­stem. K9 in the mix

“E­lec­tro­ni­cs and pro­tecti­ve clo­thing we­re do­na­ted by va­ri­ous re­si­dents and mem­bers of good stan­ding. P­lett’s mo­bi­le JOCC is sta­ti­o­ned at Be­a­con I­sle To­tal ga­ra­ge and all main­te­nan­ce cos­ts are ab­sor­bed by Sm­hart Alarms and P­lett Se­cu­ri­ty.

Alt­hough po­li­ce ha­ve an “ex­cel­lent dog hand­ler”, the dog and the hand­ler are sta­ti­o­ned at the Knys­na Dog U­nit and the o­pe­ra­ti­on a­rea is vast. “T­his left a void in our vi­si­on to re­du­ce cri­mi­nal acti­vi­ties in the gre­a­ter Bi­tou a­rea. P­lett now has its own track and at­tack dog with 24/7 hand­ler. T­his was ma­de pos­si­ble through va­lu­ed spon­sors­hips.”

“The PBCPA is an NPO and non­spe­ci­fic do­na­ti­ons that we re­cei­ve are u­sed in cri­me pre­ven­ti­on o­pe­ra­ti­ons or u­sed to e­quip neig­hbour­hood wa­tch groups a­cross the gre­a­ter Bi­tou. All fi­nan­ci­al, au­di­ted re­cords are o­pen for pu­blic in­specti­on.”

P­ho­tos: Yo­lan­dé S­tan­der

PBCPA mem­ber Ri­a­na Ven­ter will be u­sing the or­ga­ni­sa­ti­on’s new mo­tor­cy­cle to pur­sue sus­pects.

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