This week GO!&Express caught up with long-time Beacon Bay resident, Juan de Kock from the Beacon Bay Community Patrolling Association, to discuss the impact that group patrolling has had on safety and security in the area.
Who are you and what do you do?
We are all normal residents of the Beacon Bay area having a vested interest in the well-being of our local community.
What motivated you to initiate the association?
The levels of crime, in particular house breaking and home invasions we experienced in 2015.
What are the association’s main objectives?
Our focus is crime prevention via patrols or special operations and community support.
What are significant inroads/achievements the association has made?
We first formed in 2015. In 2016, I was requested by the Beacon Bay SAPS to apply this winning recipe to all areas of Beacon Bay due to a dramatic drop in crime stats. According to the previous Beacon Bay SAPS management, we were instrumental in ensuring their winning of top medium-size station in the Eastern Cape for three years during this period.
We have around 100 CPA patrollers in Beacon Bay. More CPA patrols equal less crime!
Why has the association chosen to remain independent of the police?
We used to work hand in hand with them, affording them the opportunity to carry out large scale operations, bringing in technology like drones and surveillance of potential suspects to their disposal.
However, when we formed, I made it clear that we will form as a sub structure under the then CPF. We also have a patrolling mandate from the community this has been tested via polls a few times.
We also wanted to retain our own sovereignty to ensure we remain accountable to our community and to ensure we did not become a SAPS puppet or something SAPS would be able to destroy.
What schedule do you follow when conducting patrols and what are areas you cover?
In the past we used crime stats to dictate our patrol times, unfortunately the new Beacon Bay SAPS management has chosen to withhold this critical information from us so we are flying blind now.
What advice do you have for people from other communities looking to establish patrols?
First get a good wingman, someone that complements your skills and shares your vision and goals.
Start with a strong community support base before you attempt to start patrolling, a large potential manpower support base which you can draw from. Build this base first, less than 5% of your support base will be patrolling, if you are even that lucky. Be ready to work very, very hard and spend lots of time away from you normal life and family.
Any specific goals the Beacon Bay patrolling association hopes to achieve this year?
It’s back to basics for us. We need to rebuild our base support in all our subsectors and revitalise the organisation to get to our ideal patrol strength of 300.
How can people contact you?