OH Watch Blog: updates to residents

Carols at De Waal Park

Dear All,

Friends of De Waal Park are hosting a Carols by Candlelight evening in the park next Tuesday, 13th December, 2016 @ 7 pm and would love to have you, your family and friends join us. Carols will be led by the S A Police Band.
We’ll be selling candles for R10 each and carol sheets for R10 each.

Please bring something to sit on and a picnic / refreshments to enjoy.

As you’ll know from previous Carols by Candlelight events, we always select a charity to support. This year we’ll be supporting the S A CHILDREN’S HOME in Kotze Street, Gardens. The majority of the children are aged between 12 and 18. If possible, we would appreciate your kindly bringing a gift for the children. We’ll be grateful if you can wrap it and mark it BOY or GIRL, if it is gender specific (if not, no need to do so). We will, however, be just as grateful to receive unwrapped gifts to be distributed amongst the children. Suggested gifts are books (second hand are fine, as long as they’re in good condition), sweets, chocolates, chips, biscuits, balls or other sporting items, pens, Koki pens, notebooks, caps, T-shirts, slip-slops, towels, rucksacks – or whatever strikes your fancy. No battery operated items, please.

We wish all our members an enjoyable festive season, filled with peace, joy, safety, contentment and a happy, healthy and prosperous 2017. Many thanks for your support during 2016 towards making our park the wonderful place it is.

Sincerely,

Jennifer Neish
Secretary
Friends of De Waal Park

VWS Open Day

Let’s support the volunteers from VWS who go out and make up the thin yellow line between fire and fynbos!

Newsflash from CBAR

The Newsflash below was sent by CBAR to their clients.

Dear valued clients,

The past few months have again shown a marked increase in criminal activity in our area of operation.

The residents in certain areas have even resorted to calling emergency meetings to try and find solutions to this increase in crime.
Devils Peak is currently experiencing the highest number of break-ins with the crowbar gangs also hitting houses in Sir George Grey Street and Buxton Avenue to mention a few in Oranjezicht.

The modus operandi is to break-in and be out within minutes before the armed response or SAPS arrive and these gangs are fully aware that they will trigger the alarms when forcing entry. They rely on the speed in which they commit the act of housebreaking, to prevent being caught.

Looking at the list of items that are regularly stolen, it is evident that electronics, jewelry and small safes are targeted.
Many people believe that a small safe the size of a shoebox, which is usually bolted into the cupboard in the main bedroom for ease of use, will protect its contents from theft. These criminals force open heavy doors and security gates, and I have seen countless homes where these small safes, which are held in place with 2 raw bolts have been pulled out the wall within a minute, if that.

So, investing in a bigger, heavier duty safe or using a safety deposit box for seldom used, but expensive jewelry, firearms and other documents usually kept in a small safe is a far better option. These small safes are generally not forced open on the premises, but removed “whole” and cut open at a later stage with an angle grinder.
Also noticeable is the amount of electronic goods such as IPads, phones, expensive cameras and jewelry left in draws or visible to anyone forcing their way onto the property.
One should try for a moment to imagine 4 intruders rushing through the front door (average number of persons in crowbar hits) and what they could find and remove in 2 – 3 minutes.

Having all the small electronic goods in plain sight and a small safe, predictably in the main bedroom cupboard make it easier and predictable for these crowbar gangs to have such “successful scores” when breaking in. Don’t make it easy. It is apparent that most of these gangs are well disciplined as far as time on the premises is concerned.

Car break-ins continue and there have been a few hijackings. A recent modus operandi was where a party or social event was underway, usually at a domestic premises. The criminals with the intent of stealing a particular motor vehicle they spot outside a property, then use the intercom to alert the residents that the car they intend to hijack is blocking another vehicle.
The owner of that particular vehicle then comes outside to move his / her car and is met with armed hijackers who then take the keys, and obviously the car.

Advise friends and family, especially those from overseas NOT, to leave belongings visible in vehicles parked on the street. It is one sure way of ruining a holiday.

The number of alarm signals received by our monitoring centre has nearly doubled. User error is the number one cause, followed by false alarms due to faulty sensors or foliage interfering with outdoor sensors. With the south easter due to start soon, please have all foliage trimmed that could cause outdoor detection to activate. Continuous activation’s from the same premises, hampers the effectiveness of the service by slowing it down due to unnecessary and repeated call-outs.

A concern for our staff at present is the uncontactability of certain clients where the premises are inaccessible due to high walls, electric fences or spikes. If the armed response officers are unable to access the property and there are no available key-holders to provide access, then only a perimeter check can be conducted. Please ensure that there is always a contactable key-holder on our system. Kindly furnish us with updated key-holders via fax on 0860 151516 or via email to customerservice@cbar.co.za. Various options to secure a key or remote are available. Contact sales@citybowlsecurity.co.za for these options.

Having your alarm serviced before the December rush, would also be advised. If there is a fault with one of the sensors, have a technician attend to it, rather than continuously bypassing that zone. If an insurer requests an alarm report from CBAR after a break-in has occurred, we are able to see on our system if a zone has been bypassed and are obligated to pass this information onto the insurer.

If items are stolen from a “bypassed area” the insurer may choose not to pay out for those items due to negligence on the part of the person insured. This is factual, based on our experience.

Please feel free to contact the CBAR offices should you wish to arrange for a technician on 0860 151515 or email colin@citybowlsecurity.co.za.

Also be advised that CBAR is a SAIDSA accredited (South African Intruder Detection Services Association) installer, and our technicians are fully qualified to work on almost all makes of alarm systems.

Updated WhatsApp Rules & Regulations

As our WhatsApp Block groups have expanded we have had to update our Rules and Regulations which are sent to every member before they are added to their Block Group.

Thank you for your interest in joining your OH Watch WhatsApp Block group. The aim of these groups is:

  • Get to know your neighbours and to look out for one another
  • Share all things relevant to the safety of the community
  • Share suspicious or unusual occurences with the community
  • Share relevant crime information with the community

These groups are an extension of OH Watch’s communication channels and as such, are also governed by our neighbourhood watch constitution and the mandate under which we work in conjunction with the relevant law enforcement departments. They are only open to signed up OH Watch members that agree to adhere to these Rules and Regulations. Crime related information is sensitive as it can impact on the apprehension on the criminal/s and their prosecution.

Please read through the list below so that you have an idea of what can and cannot be said, shared and broadcast on these groups. Failure to adhere to these guidelines may result in your removal from these groups depending on the infringement. This decision will be taken by the OH Watch Admin or Executive Committee and will be final.

  • Content shared on these groups is for OH Watch members ONLY. Content from these groups may NOT be shared with any third party unless otherwise specified. Only Block group Admins may forward the information on to other Block groups.
  • These groups are NOT chat groups. They are in place to report suspicious behaviour / concerns/ crime related information and information relevant to our area.
  • We reserve the right to promote and share other activities and events in our area that have positive impact on crime and grime. This includes community building events, as a strong community is the best deterrent for crime.
  • Please message admins privately if you are asked to do so for feedback or if you have any concerns or suggestions.
  • We consider ourselves a community organisation and our aim is to uplift our area and support each other. Only constructive criticism is allowed. A respectful question to clarify a situation or a friendly, constructive suggestion go a long way. A debate on various viewpoints should be taken up off line.
  • Over many years we have built and strengthened our relationships to SAPS and other security service providers. We are extremely happy to have some members of SAPS on our groups. If you would like to take up matters with SAPS, please do so through our office or directly with SAPS.
  • NO jokes, religious comment, hate speech, racism, politics, vulgar language or off topic posts are allowed on these groups.
  • Absolutely no advertising will be permitted on these groups. This includes, but is not limited to: products, services, security, other Neighbourhood Watches and NPOs unless otherwise approved by Admins.
  • Admins reserve the right to remove members who won’t adhere to Admins’ instructions
  • These WhatsApp groups DO NOT replace SAPS or your armed response company as it is not an emergency channel. We would like to advise that SAPS or your armed response company be your FIRST point of call should a serious incident occur. These WhatsApp groups do not replace our radio network which is a far more effective and successful form of communication.

We look forward to keeping in touch with you!

Kind regards,

The OH Watch Exco & Admin team

Please download the OH Watch WhatsApp Rules & Regulations below:

160908_oh_watch_wa_rules_and_regulations.pdf

Vagrancy in our area

Vagrancy is a very sensitive subject, both with our members and the city, and unfortunately there is no easy solution to this problem. We receive a number of complaints from residents almost daily and though we do try to react to the problems it is even difficult for the city to deal with.

The city of Cape Town has about 700 “rough sleepers”, people who are forced or choose to sleep out in the open on the streets or in parks. Some have been on the streets for many years and choose to be there, while others end up in a situation that they cannot get out of.

The Metro has a high concentration of tourists and commuters, including a daily transient population of around 700,000 individuals, which makes it very appealing to vulnerable people looking for an informal revenue source. But the city cannot simply move people on because they are poor or vulnerable, and chasing them from one area to another does not work though the city does coordinate operations according to complaints received.

On Wednesday 13 July a number of areas were cleared and cleaned up and we were provided with the following information and the locations that were visited:

Feedback on Operation:

1) Operation was done on Wednesday 13th July 2016,as from 20h00 – 01h00.
2) Role-players, SAPS Cape Town Central Sector Managers , Law Enforcement By-Laws, Contracted Cleansing trucks with members , COCT Department of Social Development, CCID, GP&OK CID
3) Total of x 124 illegal structures were removed
4) A total of 164 Persons were warned by both SAPS & Law Enforcement.
5) COCT DSD approached x 104 persons of which x 14 accepted assistance with shelters.
6) Law Enforcement issued x 18 persons with 56 Notices for various offences
7) 35 small bank bags and 1 larger bag of dagga were found abandoned ( total weight 125g )

Locations that the operation focused on include:

CPUT Keizergracht - 4 Structures removed, 5 persons warned by LE & SAPS
District Six - 4 Structures removed, 11 persons warned by LE & SAPS
Hope Street - 6 Structures removed, 14 persons warned by LE & SAPS
Upper Orange Street - 6 Structures removed, 6 persons warned by LE & SAPS
De Waal Park - 15 Structures removed, 12 persons warned by LE & SAPS
Van Riebeeck Park - 6 Structures removed, 11 persons warned by LE & SAPS
The Kraal - 5 Structures removed, 1 persons warned by LE & SAPS
The Quarry - 29 Structures removed, 40 persons warned by LE & SAPS
Forgate Square - 11 Structures removed, 6 persons warned by LE & SAPS
Old Marine Drive - 12 Structures removed, 8 persons warned by LE & SAPS
N1 - Centre Island Incoming - 12 Structures removed, 8 persons warned by LE & SAPS
Trafalgar Storage - 21 structures removed, 39 person warned by LE & SAPS

Law Enforcement can get involved if by-laws are being infringed and SAPS can arrest in the case of repeated by-law infringements. Social Services can also get involved, though a small percentage of street people accept the offered assistance.

Give responsibly

Many of these people are destitute and face very sad hardships and we should have compassion for their situation, but please do not provide hand-outs or give money. This only makes our area more lucrative for people to come into the area and this makes it easier for a criminal element to blend in. Please consider donating to one of the cities shelters instead.

We can make a difference in our area and in other peoples lives if we give responsibly.

Mandela Day clean up

It was a wonderful early celebration of Mandela Day on Sunday 17 July as members of OH Watch joined forces with DPVwatch, the Friends of Van Riebeeck Park and a number of other partners to carry out a mass clean up operation of Van Riebeeck Park from Sidmouth Avenue to Capel Road. Here are some of the pics of the day.

67 Minutes for Mandela

OZCF Veggie Offer!

Our sister organisation, Oranjezicht City Farm (OZCF) has an exclusive offer to all OH Watch members. 

You qualify for one free vegetable box when you sign up for a one month trial subscription of OZCF’s weekly vegetable box subscription. To take on this offer you have to be a signed up and paid up member of OH Watch. Normal cost for the one month trial is R700, cost to OH Watch members only is R550.

OZCF is an Oranjezicht-based educational non-profit built around a small urban farm. As part of their mission to help other farmers, they work with Harvest of Hope and run a veg box subscription programme that sources vegetables from small farms in Khayelitsha, Nyanga and Philippi. Every Wednesday, subscribers get to collect their box of fresh local vegetables at OZCF on the corner of Upper Orange and Sidmouth. These boxes contain 10 items and are recommended for households of 3-4 people. Details are at ozcf.co.za/vegbox

If you are interested in starting a subscription, please send an email to vegbox@ozcf.co.za and they will respond with all the information you need to sign up. 

This is a fantastic offer, supporting local economy right here in our hood. 

OH Watch 7th AGM

The OH Watch Executive Committee is happy to invite you to our 7th Annual General Meeting to be held on Wednesday, 13th of April 2016 at 7pm.
OH Watch will be reviewing the last year and inform residents of our past, present and future activities. We will look at crime and grime in our area and how we as community can participate and collaborate to reduce criminal activities in the hood.

We will also have a presentation by Vumatel where they will explain how the roll out of fibre to our homes will affect us and how it will lift the community into the future of fast internet.

Please join us at 21 Vredehoek Avenue, Vredehoek at the Good Hope Seminary Junior School hall for the AGM and Vumatel presentations, after which snacks and drinks will be served.

Be a part of something positive!

We are putting together hampers for a raffle at our AGM. Who can assist us with sourcing prizes from our local businesses or donate prizes toward this fundraiser?

Please email us on contact@ohwatch.co.za to RSVP and let us know what prizes you may have! See you there!

Vumatel and OH Watch

Over the last couple of years OH Watch had a multitude of inquiries and requests from residents and businesses to drive the installation of fibre based internet in our area. During 2015 a team of residents explored the possible options and were in touch with several providers and experts in the field.

OH Watch has decided to support the Vumatel roll out of fibre in our area due to several reasons:

  • Vumatel’s size and track record to date
  • inclusion of the community during preparation and installation of fibre by working with us and keeping us updated and informed throughout the process
  • Vumatel giving back to the community by installing fibre to all schools in our area and the NHW electronic crime prevention systems at their own cost
  • Vumatel supports open access to ISPs, which allows for service and price competition
  • Vumatel has been most proactive and supportive
  • We are looking forward to the many benefits that fibre connectivity will bring to the residents in our community. Fast and reliable Internet access will greatly improve our lives by way of faster communications, catering for the future demands of data and also improving productivity for businesses and those working from home in our suburbs.

For OH Watch, the fibre network will significantly upgrade and enhance our LPR (Licence Plate Recognition) camera project. All existing and future cameras will be connected to the fibre network. Faster and more reliable data feeds will improve the quality and accuracy of the video information.

PROJECT DETAILS & COSTS

The installation of fibre into our suburb will involve trenching on both sides of the road, laying of fibre cables and attaching a small, fibre box to the boundary wall of every free standing home. For apartments/complexes, Vumatel will contact you for permission to install fibre into your building and then connect each apartment.

The installation into the suburb can be disruptive in the short term, however Vumatel representatives will be available throughout the project to deal with concerns and ensure there is sufficient communication throughout the process. We believe short term pain will be hugely rewarded with long term gain! Vumatel will have the relevant wayleave approval from the City of Cape Town to trench in the sidewalk, across driveways and will undertake reinstatement of pavements to the original conditions.

Vumatel will rollout the network and connect every home and building covered in the OH Watch area (see map) at NO COST to you. Your home will simply get connected to the network for when you decide to take up a service at a future point in time. Think of this as another utility that will add value to your home!

If and when you decide to take up the service, you can order an in-home installation and the fibre will be installed from your boundary wall into your home at a once-off cost of R1 710.
Once your home has fibre installed you are not limited to any particular internet service provider - you may choose from a range of service providers. See monthly pricing from service providers at www.vumatel.net.

WHAT NEXT? GO SHOW YOUR SUPPORT

We want to get started as soon as possible, and need 25% of the community to show their support for the project. We need you and your neighbours to go and show your support online.

You can pledge your support by visiting www.vumatel.co.za and selecting “SHOW MY INTEREST”. Complete the non-binding show of support. This is “moral commitment”, and not a formal sign-up. You will also be added to the mailing list to receive regular project updates.

WANT TO KNOW MORE?

You can find out more about the project by through the following channels:
Facebook – Join the OH Watch” Facebook group
Twitter - @VUMA_CityBowl
Email – citybowl@vumatel.co.za
Website – www.vumatel.co.za
Service provider packages and pricing – www.vumatel.net

Please forward this email to all your family and friends in the neighbourhood.