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This is being addressed to all our residents especially those permanently resident in Betty’s Bay.

We are once again faced with a significant increase in property related crime. In July alone we had as many as 40 incidents of housebreakings and this is probably much higher if unreported incidents are also to be taken into account. Indications are that syndicates may be involved since stolen items are being moved very quickly out of the village to the Cape.

Way back in 2010 because of the high rate of crime in our village it had then become imperative that we establish a community based organization (Neighbourhood Watch) to assist SAPS in striving for a safe and secure environment. We created six zones across Betty’s Bay which initially had a measure of success in reducing crime, however, over time enthusiasm has dwindled and only one of the zones is still effectively carrying out patrols. Some of the other zones have become inactive. We urgently need to revive what was once a very active operation.

Crime prevention is everyone’s responsibility not only that of Law Enforcement. Unfortunately, far too many of our residents do not adhere to basic security precautionary measures. Far too many houses do not even have adequate intruder alarm systems. Systems that were installed many years ago seriously need to be checked and upgraded. Far too many residents rely upon security providers to prevent crime, this will not happen. The mandate of Private Security is to react to alarm activations but only for their respective clients. They DO NOT carry out patrols of the village.

The objective of the NW is to create public awareness with regard to safety, crime prevention, protection of families and their property and to encourage the community to work in close co-operation with each other. Unfortunately, a NW cannot achieve its objective unless it has the support of the community especially in a village which is faced with so many challenges. These include:

  • The response by Kleinmond SAPS to any emergency is likely to take anything from an hour and even longer taking into consideration that the police station is some considerable distance away and provided that there is an Officer immediately available to attend to a call out. The area covered is from Arabella to Rooi Els.
  • SAPS are faced with serious manpower constraints which are likely to get worse. SAPS efficiency is determined by these circumstances and available manpower.
  • Betty’s Bay being a ribbon like development stretching for some 15km’s and dissected by a Provincial highway makes it very difficult to manage.
  • Permanent residents are predominantly elderly retired folk.
  • Wardens of our NW are generally drawn from these elderly pensioners.
  • For safety reasons patrols are not generally being carried out and we therefore have to rely largely on the ‘ears and eyes’ of our Wardens and the community at large.
  • Wardens mainly cover the zones in which they live. Many areas are therefore not covered by the NW mainly because many of the houses are holiday homes which remain unoccupied for most of the year. Most of these houses have become the targets of break-ins.
  • Repeat offenders are being released by the Courts on either suspended or short term prison sentences.
  • Correctional Services are releasing offenders early on parole after serving only short terms of their sentences. Offenders are openly saying they are not afraid of being arrested and going to prison.

Despite letters by the Community Police Forum to the Cluster Commander and the Provincial Commissioner for increased visible policing, we have not even had the courtesy of a formal acknowledgement.

To overcome these challenges ALL members of the community need to get involved, even if it is just with their ‘eyes and ears’. ALL must get to know their neighbours, their personal particulars and whereabouts, their contact details, so that if anything untoward is observed then they can make contact with each other. This would apply to any emergency, such as, fires etc.

We have had lengthy discussions with SAPS on appropriate measures to be adopted by the NW in combating crime in our area. The general view is that our prime objective is to take every precaution to prevent incidents of crime and not to go get involved in confronting and arresting culprits; that is the function of SAPS. Our task is to keep our SAPS informed of suspicious circumstances. Visibility and communication are essential elements in achieving this objective.
Some constructive proposals have been put forward by members of the community to improve the security preparedness of our area. These have been investigated but have proved to be either too expensive or in many cases would require far more residents to become involved in the implementation and monitoring of such measures. There are just too few of us to manage this. Many of our residents have said that they cannot afford it or are not prepared to invest in the protection of their properties.

There was an encouraging turn out of residents at the recent de-briefing on the fire but unfortunately there appears to be a great deal of apathy when it comes to dealing with crime related issues. Despite repeated requests, residents, especially weekend visitors, are not taking the warnings seriously. Housebreakings are taking place whilst they are occupied. Front doors are found left open or unlocked. Garage doors are left standing open. Valuables are left in vehicles. We all need to be more vigilant and not become too complacent.

SAPS is requesting that an effort must be made to mark electronic equipment as in many cases owners are unable to identify stolen property and cases can therefore not be properly investigated.

We need to extend our database of email addresses so as to improve communications. In this way we will be able to communicate important and vital information on a regular basis especially to those who have holiday homes and live up country. It is also essential that we be kept informed of any changes in addresses.

We are desperately in need of more, much more, permanent resident volunteers as NW Wardens. The more that are involved, the lighter the burden will be. All those prepared to offer their services are kindly requested to make contact with Dan Fick on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 028 2729800 so that he can put them in contact with the respective zone coordinators.

Your comments are most welcome.

Dan Fick
Betty’s Bay Ratepayers Association
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.