Continual complaints from residents and shopkeepers over the behaviour of self-appointed carguards in Greenhill Road has resulted in a new initiative. Geraldine Connell, Parkview CPF chairperson, explains what’s happening.
The Greenhill Road Security Initiative was formed by a group of concerned residents and shopkeepers. The committee comprises members of the Parkview CPF, shopkeepers, Ward 88 councillor David Hensman, Woza app developer Paul Nogeuira and members of Parkview SAPS.
They initially met on 12 June to formulate an action plan. The first steps were to educate the shopkeepers about the Woza app and have them subscribe to it. After sufficient shopkeepers had signed up to Woza, the community was encouraged to immediately report any intimidation or crime by going in to these shops and using the Woza app to call for armed response.
On 23 July the car guards were called to a meeting at Greenhill Grocer where they were told about the plans to make them “official”. They were very pleased with the initiative.
On 26 July, the car guards had their fingerprints taken at SAPS and checks are being run to see if any of them have criminal records. Only guards without criminal records may participate.
These guards will be given official bibs and Ukheshe bank cards so that shoppers can tip them without paying cash. They will also be trained in social skills regarding interacting with shoppers as well as in observation and crime reporting skills. Once the guards are official, shoppers are encouraged to tip them as this income is their livelihood.
Since a similar initiative was implemented in Parkhurst, crime has dropped substantially.
Together we can make our shopping precinct a pleasant and safe place for everyone in the community to enjoy.
(Geraldine Connell has recently resigned from ERA so that she can concentrate more fully on her role as chairperson of the Parkview CPF. ERA is very sad to see her go and wishes her well in her new role)