Residents patrolling their own neighbourhood is a key component of community safety. SAPS resources are stretched as we know, and GRIT cannot be everywhere. It has been proven, both in our suburb and others, that where the community takes an active role in patrolling crime is reduced:
- Incognito patrolling lets us spot issues and request assistance from SAPS or MID if necessary
- Visible patrolling acts as a deterrent to would-be criminals who know they’re being watched
MCSI’s approach to patrolling is non-confrontational: we are not action heroes or vigilantes!
Observation is our main focus: who’s on the streets? does anything look out of place? does anyone need help? Our patrol guidelines will give you a very good idea of how this works in practice.
Types of patrols
- Night patrols – each shift consists of 2 patrollers who drive in a personal vehicle around the MCSI area, at present each person is asked to do 1 shift every 3 weeks – as we get more patrolling members this will be extended to 1 shift each month.
- Leisure patrols – including dog walkers, jogging moms, cyclists, skateboarders… – these are informal patrols, not organized in shifts, but which can contribute significantly to the “visibility” factor. 1) Get together a group of 3 people minimum, 2) Grab an MCSI jacket 3) Check the patrol guidelines, and take to the streets for as long as you have available.
- Beach patrols – these are organized sporadically so that the bad guys don’t see a pattern: a minimum of 4 people is required for safety, and the route is between Surfer’s corner and Sunrise circle (or a little further).
What’s it like?
For an in-depth view, take a look at Why I patrol – a personal perspective.
Night patrol: My new patrol partner has an old landrover which was quite cool to go out in! We chatted about so many things in the course of the shift. At one point we stopped at the beachfront to have some coffee from the flask and were astonished to see a young couple walking towards the beach pavillion at 1am – we followed them and warned them that it wasn’t safe along there at that time. – Sandy
Leisure patrol: A group of us from YWAM walked in 3’s each afternoon with our MCSI jackets. We enjoyed it, grew a lot in our community awareness and met some cool people along the way. – Laurie