The organization, BKM Neighbourhood Watch, covering the southern suburbs of Bergvliet, Kreupelbosch, Meadowridge, Doordrift, Morningstar and Diep River in Cape Town, is run entirely by volunteers with the help of donations and contributions by local businesses.
BKM’s primary aim is to create peace in their neighbourhood and community, and has to date improved safety in the area, with their hard work being critical in making the police efforts more effective.
One of the founder members, Tony Schreiber advises that “BKM is made up of many volunteers – from founders to committee members, to patrollers, medics, suspicious vehicle data checkers, web masters, incident recorders, to publicity etc. It is a massive team, and whether they do 150 hours or 1 hour a month – they are all part of a team and most importantly, volunteers”.
YEI particularly wished to source some safety tips for seniors. Tony Schreiber pointed us to the following article –
Roy Rawlins, Managing Director of ADT Johannesburg, says it is important for senior citizens to take extra precautions. Here are some valuable hints and tips to bear in mind:
Senior safety begins at home:
- Install and use good locks on doors and windows
- Don´t hide keys under the doormat, in the mailbox or in a pot plant. If needed, leave a spare key with a family member or a trusted neighbour
- When service or delivery people come to the door, ask for identification and check with their company if you´re still not 100% certain about their identity
- Make sure that the street number on your house is large, well-lit and unobstructed so that emergency personnel can find your home quickly when needed
- If you decide to install an alarm system, consider one that is monitored for burglary, fire and medical emergencies
- If you live in a retirement home, ensure you have communication with the guard at the main gate
Stay safe when you go out:
- Preferably go out with family and/or friends rather than on your own
- Avoid carrying large amounts of cash or valuables, but carry a cell phone which you can use in an emergency. Programme in an emergency number
- Avoid walking early in the morning or late in the afternoon and try and avoid isolated areas
- Always let someone know when you are going out alone – a neighbour, family member or complex guard
- Always keep your handbag closed and close by and keep your wallet in an inside pocket. Petty criminals know that the elderly prefer cash to credit cards
- When shopping, never leave your purse unattended in your trolley, even for a second
- It is advisable to use a direct deposit service for Social Security and other regular cheques
Don´t fall for con artists´ tricks:
- Be wary of offers if they sound too good to be true, such as a free vacation, miracle cure, sure-fire investment, etc.
- Be wary of anyone requesting personal information such as your credit card and/or banking details. If necessary, ask them for their details and call them back once you have verified that it is a legitimate request
- If someone tries to rush you into signing an insurance policy, sales contract or any other contractual agreement, be suspicious. Read the documentation very carefully, and if possible ask a trusted friend or an advisor to check it too.