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Merry Christmas

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					Hi	
  All,	
  
	
  	
  
Merry	
  Christmas	
  
	
  
Before	
  I	
  get	
  started…..	
  Can	
  anyone	
  out	
  there	
  believe	
  that	
  we’re	
  
finishing	
  off	
  the	
  first	
  THIRD	
  of	
  the	
  year	
  !!???	
  
….	
  and	
  in	
  reality	
  in	
  four	
  months	
  time	
  there	
  will	
  be	
  the	
  first	
  
Christmas	
  decorations	
  going	
  up	
  in	
  the	
  stores.	
  
	
  	
  
Time	
  flies	
  by,	
  hopefully	
  everyone’s	
  having	
  a	
  good	
  year	
  so	
  far.	
  
Forgive	
  my	
  nostalgia,	
  but	
  I’ve	
  been	
  going	
  through	
  some	
  old	
  
papers	
  on	
  my	
  desk	
  and	
  unearthed	
  a	
  Streetwatch	
  Campaign	
  
letter	
  from	
  last	
  year	
  November.	
  (It’s	
  a	
  messy	
  desk	
  and	
  doesn’t	
  
get	
  cleaned	
  often…	
  sometimes	
  I	
  have	
  to	
  stop	
  work	
  and	
  take	
  a	
  
walk	
  when	
  one	
  of	
  the	
  archeological	
  teams	
  finds	
  something	
  
particularly	
  exciting)	
  
Anyway,	
  I	
  was	
  reading	
  the	
  letter	
  and	
  was	
  struck	
  by	
  what	
  a	
  dire	
  
circumstance	
  we	
  were	
  in	
  back	
  then.	
  The	
  headline	
  of	
  the	
  letter	
  
was	
  the	
  fact	
  that	
  our	
  little	
  Gillitts	
  Park	
  had	
  the	
  highest	
  crime	
  
rate	
  in	
  the	
  outer	
  west.	
  I	
  recall	
  the	
  first	
  meetings	
  we	
  had	
  back	
  
then	
  and	
  the	
  first	
  newsletters…	
  every	
  week	
  there	
  were	
  reports	
  
of	
  housebreakings,	
  hijackings	
  and	
  people	
  being	
  attacked	
  in	
  
their	
  homes.	
  
We	
  were	
  in	
  a	
  bad	
  situation	
  and	
  we	
  are	
  sometimes	
  fickle	
  in	
  our	
  
way	
  of	
  accepting	
  things	
  the	
  way	
  they	
  are.	
  As	
  a	
  community	
  we	
  
were	
  battered	
  and	
  bruised	
  and	
  quite	
  literally	
  under	
  siege,	
  in	
  
that	
  people	
  were	
  afraid	
  to	
  go	
  out	
  their	
  homes	
  in	
  fear	
  that	
  one	
  
of	
  the	
  roaming	
  carloads	
  of	
  thugs	
  would	
  decide	
  we	
  were	
  being	
  a	
  
juicy	
  target.	
  
	
  	
  
In	
  comparison,	
  there	
  have	
  been	
  a	
  good	
  few	
  newsletters	
  of	
  late	
  
which	
  have	
  begun	
  with	
  the	
  words,	
  “It’s	
  been	
  a	
  relatively	
  quiet	
  
week…”.	
  I	
  for	
  one	
  think	
  this	
  is	
  awesome.	
  
I’ve	
  been	
  giving	
  some	
  thoughts	
  to	
  how	
  we’ve	
  got	
  here.	
  The	
  
Gillitts	
  Park	
  committee	
  is	
  very	
  busy	
  with	
  a	
  variety	
  of	
  projects,	
  
we’re	
  investigating	
  CCTV	
  camera	
  systems	
  to	
  cover	
  our	
  area’s	
  
entrances,	
  we’re	
  looking	
  at	
  bush	
  clearing	
  regimens	
  in	
  order	
  to	
  
regularly	
  keep	
  the	
  greenbelts	
  clear	
  where	
  they’re	
  being	
  used	
  as	
  
hiding	
  places,	
  we’re	
  investigating	
  visibility	
  projects	
  (signage,etc)	
  
in	
  co-­‐operation	
  with	
  SA	
  CAN.	
  We’re	
  doing	
  a	
  whole	
  whack	
  of	
  
things	
  to	
  try	
  and	
  secure	
  our	
  area	
  and	
  make	
  it	
  a	
  less	
  attractive	
  
target.	
  
But	
  these	
  are	
  the	
  long-­‐term	
  projects	
  which	
  are	
  on	
  the	
  go…	
  as	
  a	
  
long	
  term,	
  permanent	
  solution	
  to	
  our	
  problem.	
  The	
  truth	
  is	
  that	
  
our	
  crime	
  rate	
  is	
  RIGHT	
  NOW	
  down	
  in	
  a	
  big	
  way	
  in	
  comparison	
  
to	
  last	
  year.	
  And	
  that	
  is	
  thanks	
  entirely	
  to	
  the	
  Streetwatch	
  
program,	
  people	
  watching	
  out	
  for	
  their	
  neighbours	
  and	
  being	
  
equipped	
  with	
  the	
  contact	
  numbers	
  and	
  information	
  on	
  what	
  
to	
  do	
  in	
  an	
  emergency.	
  As	
  a	
  direct	
  result,	
  the	
  response	
  times	
  of	
  
the	
  crime-­‐fighting	
  services	
  has	
  decreased	
  dramatically	
  and	
  
people	
  have	
  been	
  getting	
  caught	
  !	
  
The	
  gangs	
  who	
  break	
  into	
  houses	
  aren’t	
  stupid.	
  If	
  they	
  start	
  
losing	
  gang	
  members	
  in	
  a	
  certain	
  area,	
  they	
  immediately	
  switch	
  
to	
  somewhere	
  else.	
  We’ve	
  successfully	
  repelled	
  them,	
  we	
  just	
  
need	
  to	
  stay	
  vigilant	
  so	
  that	
  when	
  they	
  start	
  to	
  sniff	
  around	
  the	
  
area	
  again,	
  we	
  have	
  the	
  same	
  response	
  times	
  as	
  before.	
  
	
  	
  
On	
  that	
  note…	
  let’s	
  talk	
  about	
  events	
  recently….	
  
	
  
Crime	
  Upswing	
  
	
  
There	
  have	
  been	
  a	
  number	
  of	
  reports	
  in	
  this	
  last	
  week	
  of	
  an	
  
upsurge	
  in	
  crime	
  in	
  the	
  area.	
  Thankfully,	
  this	
  hasn’t	
  really	
  
affected	
  Gillitts	
  Park	
  the	
  majority	
  has	
  been	
  in	
  Hillcrest	
  and	
  the	
  
other	
  side	
  of	
  Gillitts.	
  The	
  only	
  cases	
  which	
  have	
  affected	
  us	
  
have	
  been	
  on	
  the	
  periphery	
  of	
  Gillitts	
  Park…	
  which	
  means	
  these	
  
guys	
  have	
  worked	
  out	
  our	
  boundaries	
  and	
  are	
  scared	
  to	
  intrude	
  
too	
  far.	
  
	
  	
  
However	
  the	
  roads	
  which	
  have	
  been	
  affected	
  are	
  :	
  
	
  	
  
           •    Today,	
  in	
  Hazel	
  Road	
  a	
  maid	
  accidentally	
  let	
  a	
  white	
  
               bakkie	
  (either	
  a	
  colt	
  or	
  a	
  Caddy)	
  into	
  the	
  property	
  
               containing	
  several	
  black	
  males.	
  She	
  immediately	
  hit	
  the	
  
               panic	
  button	
  and	
  the	
  alarm	
  went	
  off.	
  The	
  perpetrators	
  
               immediately	
  drove	
  out	
  the	
  driveway	
  again.	
  This	
  re-­‐
               iterates	
  the	
  point	
  of	
  training	
  your	
  staff	
  to	
  always	
  
               positively	
  identify	
  the	
  occupants	
  of	
  a	
  car	
  before	
  opening	
  
               the	
  gates.	
  Thankfully	
  nothing	
  was	
  taken	
  or	
  damaged.	
  
           •    1	
  Minerva	
  Drive	
  had	
  an	
  incident	
  last	
  night,	
  we	
  have	
  no	
  
               further	
  information	
  as	
  yet.	
  
           •    Unconfirmed	
  report	
  of	
  a	
  housebreaking	
  in	
  Minerva	
  
               Drive	
  today	
  at	
  11:00am.	
  
           •    Last	
  week,	
  Tudor	
  Road	
  had	
  a	
  housebreaking	
  with	
  
               forced	
  windows	
  but	
  nothing	
  taken.	
  
           •    Last	
  week	
  a	
  unit	
  in	
  Cricklewood	
  Green	
  in	
  Tudor	
  Road	
  
               has	
  a	
  housebreaking	
  and	
  a	
  ransacking	
  while	
  no-­‐one	
  was	
  
               home.	
  
	
  	
  
That’s	
  pretty	
  much	
  it	
  for	
  our	
  area.	
  It	
  may	
  seem	
  like	
  quite	
  a	
  few	
  
incidents	
  for	
  the	
  last	
  two	
  weeks,	
  but	
  I	
  promise	
  you	
  it	
  better	
  
than	
  the	
  rest	
  of	
  the	
  upper	
  highway	
  is	
  experiencing.	
  There	
  
seems	
  to	
  be	
  a	
  lot	
  of	
  activity	
  at	
  the	
  moment,	
  but	
  thankfully	
  our	
  
efforts	
  seem	
  to	
  be	
  causing	
  it	
  to	
  dodge	
  around	
  us.	
  We	
  have	
  got	
  
some	
  other	
  	
  reports	
  of	
  events	
  in	
  adjacent	
  areas,	
  but	
  won’t	
  
include	
  them	
  at	
  this	
  point.	
  Suffice	
  to	
  say	
  that	
  as	
  an	
  example,	
  
Alan	
  Smaldon	
  from	
  the	
  Ratepayers	
  headlined	
  his	
  latest	
  
newsletter	
  with,	
  “HILLCREST,	
  WE	
  HAVE	
  A	
  PROBLEM	
  !!!”.	
  
Hillcrest	
  area	
  seems	
  to	
  be	
  quite	
  hard	
  hit	
  and	
  the	
  SESK	
  folk	
  next	
  
door	
  are	
  also	
  getting	
  a	
  few	
  knocks.	
  
	
  	
  
Please,	
  please,	
  please,	
  Gillitts	
  Parkers…	
  keep	
  your	
  eyes	
  and	
  ears	
  
open	
  and	
  stay	
  safe.	
  
	
  	
  
On	
  that	
  note,	
  I	
  bid	
  you	
  a	
  farewell	
  and	
  hope	
  that	
  you	
  all	
  have	
  a	
  
fantastic	
  (long)	
  weekend.	
  Please	
  don’t	
  forget	
  to	
  visit	
  our	
  
website	
  www.gillittspark.co.za	
  for	
  news	
  and	
  details	
  and	
  back	
  
issues	
  of	
  the	
  newsletter.	
  In	
  the	
  next	
  couple	
  days	
  an	
  Incident	
  
Management	
  Guideline	
  is	
  going	
  to	
  be	
  uploaded.	
  It	
  contains	
  a	
  
list	
  of	
  things	
  to	
  do	
  in	
  case	
  of	
  emergency	
  and	
  it	
  would	
  probably	
  
help	
  to	
  download	
  it	
  and	
  print	
  it	
  for	
  your	
  reference	
  around	
  the	
  
house.	
  
	
  	
  
One	
  last	
  note	
  about	
  paying	
  the	
  bills…	
  please	
  remember	
  that	
  in	
  
order	
  for	
  our	
  association	
  to	
  continue	
  with	
  the	
  projects	
  we	
  have	
  
planned,	
  we	
  do	
  need	
  your	
  support	
  where	
  it	
  counts.	
  This	
  
includes	
  your	
  moral	
  support	
  and	
  feedback,	
  but	
  also	
  we	
  need	
  
residents	
  to	
  formally	
  join	
  the	
  association	
  and	
  sign	
  up	
  as	
  paying	
  
members.	
  The	
  membership	
  forms	
  are	
  available	
  on	
  the	
  website	
  
and	
  the	
  fees	
  are	
  only	
  R35	
  per	
  month.	
  We’d	
  like	
  to	
  give	
  a	
  hearty	
  
thanks	
  to	
  those	
  who	
  have	
  already	
  signed	
  up	
  and	
  paid,	
  your	
  
support	
  is	
  appreciated.	
  
	
  	
  
Anyway,	
  onwards	
  to	
  the	
  weekend.	
  
	
  	
  
Best	
  Regards,	
  

Charles	
  Atkinson	
  
Gillitts	
  Park	
  Community	
  Association	
  
www.gillittspark.co.za	
  
         	
  	
  

				
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