Security

Crime Stats for Your Hood!

Crime Stats South Africa displays the latest and historic South African crime statistics in an easy-to-understand format. You don’t need to know anything about police precincts or provincial boundaries. You can search, by address, for your area on a map of South Africa and immediately access the information you need.

We have created this analytical application to be used as a guideline for the reported crimes in South Africa. This should in no way influence opinions on the purchase of a new home, the management of a business or other such matters. The SAPS release the latest crime statistics annually.

Crime Stats SA is the initiative of Meerkat Data Management our online data capture and reporting system. It means that any of our users are able to securely access the system and use it from any place on the planet where an Internet connection is available. No special software is required on any of your PCs – the system operates through any of the standard Internet web browsers.

The Heatmap displays all the precincts in South Africa to you. Each precinct is colour coded.

  • The number of total crimes for the category or categories you have chosen are sorted numerically and then divided into 5 blocks, called quintiles.
  • The first quintile contains the precincts in the bottom 20%, so they have the least crimes. They are shown in green.
  • The fifth quintile contains the precincts that have are in the top 20% in terms of number of crimes, in other words they have the most crimes. They are shown in red.
  • Therefore the colour of the precinct, from green to orange to red, indicates how many crimes it has in comparison to the others.
  • In the advanced Search you can drill down to the area and crime types.

Click here to view the worst ten precincts :  largest number of reported crimes in Western Cape

This content curated for Chas Everitt Cape Town South

Don’t Assume a False Alarm!

Has your household got a common understanding of what should actually happen when the alarm goes off?  This morning we had another false alarm, and yes most times they are!  Being a house where we have a few people at home most of the time, I considered this morning’s casual response as the alarm was switched off and how everyone just carried on about their business. Sooner or later we could pay a high price for that casual response of annoyance and irritation.

Do you have an agreed ALARM PROCEDURE that everyone in your household follows?  Well I decided we need one and I am sharing ours.  I have stuck it next to the alarm panel.

The alarm must automatically be treated as a SERIOUS MATTER and the following rules are to be followed:

1)  Do not go outside to investigate alone!

2) Lock all doors and close all windows immediately!  First close the doors and then close then windows INCLUDING the bathroom window and kitchen windows (ALL windows).

3)  If I am not at home you need to observe from inside of the house and consider some good vantage spots where you can look out.

4)  Do NOT turn off the alarm too soon and only turn off the alarm after doors and windows have been closed – the alarm will encourage an intruder to go not hand around but if you turn it off too soon it encourages them to stay!  Reset the alarm immediately.

5)  Only reopen doors and windows when it is obvious all is ok.  If I am not at home then observe for at least 30 minutes before opening up windows and doors.

6)  If anyone is observed then phone the emergency number 10111 and speak clearly telling them we have an intruder and the address – speak clearly and slowly.

7)  Move out of less secure rooms (like a sunroom) into more secure rooms!  It is generally considered best that the intruder sees people are at home and be seen speaking on the phone so he knows he has been seen and is being reported.  Even if you have finished speaking keep “talking” on the phone so he thinks you are giving information!  This will increase the chance of the intruder LEAVING.

8)  It is probably better to open gates from inside the house (if you have remotes) so the intruder can get away and help can get inside.

9) Make sure everyone knows where torches and other security devices are kept IN ONE ACCESSIBLE PLACE.

Keep emergency numbers somewhere they are not moved! On the fridge or next to the phone and include other numbers you can also call such as neighbours!

Personalise these notes for your property and family and share extra comments and advice.

Be prepared and stay safe.

This original article is shared with you by Andre de Villiers –  Chas Everitt Cape Town South

Do you live in a Burglary Hot Spot or a Suburb Safe Zone?

neighbourhood“If property owners do not take collective action as a neighbourhood community, the affect on everyone’s property values in that neighbourhood could be very negative”, says Cape Town real estate broker, Andre de Villiers from Cape Town.

De Villiers was previously a Neighbourhood Watch Chairperson for a popular Cape Town coastal suburb. “My experience is that there are far too few residents prepared to get involved in neighbourhood security unless there is a dramatic spike in crime or a violent attack. The majority of residents it seems are only too happy to leave the collective security concerns to someone else”.

“As the owner of four real estate offices in Cape Town, I can confirm that buyers are increasingly asking agents for more details about security issues in the neighbourhood of the house they are interested in. The focus on the individual house’s security is correctly seen as something that can be resolved by the buyer, but the area’s reputation and crime statistics are a greater concern, as a buyer knows this will probably be an issue that falls outside their immediate control.”

There is certainly a demand for reliable data but this is not as easy to obtain as some may think. Many smaller incidents are not reported to the police and many private security services treat their information as confidential and many neighbourhood watch groups are understandably concerned that their neighbourhood could suffer if their efficiency in keeping records resulted in a negative message!

“I think any professional estate agent should have some reasonable methodology to answer security questions from buyers objectively about the neighbourhood. We can’t put our head in the sand over this issue and a lack of access to reliable data is certainly a challenge,” said de Villiers.

The message to property owners is to ‘buy in’ to the responsibility of keeping their neighbourhood safe and crime free through collective action, and thereby collecting a ‘collective security dividend’. “Imagine if you will, a pocket of houses that is able to claim and where the seller or agent can statistically show, that the subject area is the safest area in this suburb! If that’s not a great selling feature then, as a real estate professional with over thirty years experience, I am not sure what is!” said de Villiers.

Security a high priority for apartment buyers

1 (10)More and more sectional title buyers are stressing the need for increased security as a high priority.

This neat two apartment in Kent Gardens is a sought after location that meets the needs of such buyers.   On the third floor it is also a good example of what first time buyers and investors are looking for as it will certainly offer a good rental return in a high demand area.

Secure complexes like this are in big demand.  Kent Gardens is a safe, secure and a well run complex situated on the doorstep of leading schools, with easy access to most amenities.  Another trend is the demand for secure parking as fewer buyers are interested in looking at properties with street parking.  Read more about this Wynberg Apartment.

Contact Chas Everitt agent Charlene Faint on 083 765 2116 for further queries.

Protecting Your Apartment Over the Festive Period

Christmas is a busy time of year for everyone, but ensuring your apartment is properly protected against festive crime should be made a priority.

Christmas is a time when many of us are spending time away from home visiting family or travelling abroad. It is also a time when the home is full of valuable items such as gifts, food and wine. Because of this, Christmas traditionally sees a sharp increase in domestic burglary, with criminals targeting houses when they are at their most vulnerable.

To avoid being a victim of festive theft, take a look at these tips for protecting your home this Christmas.

While out shopping:

  • Try to avoid doing most of your shopping  in one trip as you may struggle to carry all your bags therefore you will be distracted, making it easier for a thief to steal from you.
  • Keep your handbag closed and hold all bags securely to make it more difficult for the pickpockets.  Keep mobile phones out of sight. Try not to keep too much cash and keep your cheque book and credit card separate.
  • Try not to go back to your car in the middle of the shopping trip to put gifts in the boot, thieves may be watching car parks for this opportunity.
  • Always ensure that Christmas shopping/gifts is placed in the boot of the car and out of sight. Check that  all windows and doors are shut and locked. 

Celebrations:

  • During the month of December we have many Christmas celebrations and social events to attend: remember pubs, restaurants and other venues are often crowded.
  • Don’t leave bags over the back of your chair where its easy for thieves to run off with them. Keep your bag zip closed and your wallet and mobile safely inside.
  • If you will not be driving to the place make prior arrangements as to how you will get home. Make sure someone knows where you are going and what time you will be back.
  • Avoid any potential distraction on the street and don’t get too drunk as you could become an easy target.

At home:

  • Try to avoid putting Christmas gifts under the tree until Christmas Eve!
  • If you go out in the evening make sure that some lights are left on to make it look like someone is home. However, do not leave your Christmas tree lights on when you are out of the house, as these are a frequently the cause of domestic fires
  • If you are going away for Christmas put an automatic timer on lights and ask a trusted friend to watch the house for you. Don’t forget to cancel newspaper .
  • After Christmas, when taking your rubbish out, make sure that the boxes of your Christmas gifts are not easily visible… burglars will be on the look out to see who received top of the range equipment, worth breaking-in for.

Tenants Tips: Avoid Pitfalls when Renting Sectional Title Property

Intaba Building ImageChas Everitt – Lots of tenants relocate around year end, but before they sign the lease for their next sectional title apartment or townhouse, they need to take a few precautions says Greg Harris, CEO of Chas Everitt Property Rentals.

FINANCIAL POSITION OF COMPLEX AND OWNER
For a start, they should make sure that the financial position of the sectional title scheme is sound and that it is well-managed, because if the owners have been lax about paying or collecting the levies and the body corporate is short of money, the maintenance of the building or complex will inevitably suffer, and they could shortly find themselves living in run-down surroundings.

In addition, if it turns out that their landlord is one of the owners who are in default on levies, the unit they are renting could well be attached and sold in execution to pay for the arrears, leaving them in a very uncertain position.

WHAT IS INCLUDED AND EXCLUDED IN THE RENTAL?
Secondly, sectional title tenants also need to be very clear about what their monthly rental covers and if or how any increase in levies might affect them.

Generally, the unit owner/ landlord in a sectional title scheme is responsible for the maintenance and any repairs to the interior of the unit, while the upkeep of the exterior and common areas such as gardens and garages is the responsibility of the body corporate and is paid for out of the monthly levies.

However, this does not necessarily mean that tenants don’t have to worry about the annual levy increases or any special levies that may be imposed on owners. Before they sign it, they should check their lease carefully to see if it provides for the landlord to increase the rent in the event of any levy increase.

And while they’re about it, they should also find out if their rent includes parking, for example, or the use of a storage area, or if they will need to pay an additional monthly amount for that, and how they will be charged for municipal services. It is always better when units have their own separate electricity and water meters.

Billing can be very unfair and the cause of much unhappiness and even disputes in schemes where the body corporate still receives one overall account for services from the local authority and just divides it among the residents according to the relative size (PQ or Participation Quota) of their units.

WHAT ARE THE CONDUCT RULES? 
Then the third thing that prospective tenants need to check is the conduct rules that apply to a particular sectional title scheme. Legally, a copy of these has to be attached to the signed lease, but it is always a good idea to go through them before that.

For example, the lease document might omit to say anything about pets, but if the conduct rules say “no pets”, this could make the unit unsuitable for some tenants and it would be much better for all parties if they were aware of this before signing a lease.

WHO MANAGES THE COMPLEX?
And finally, it is worth bearing in mind that sectional title schemes are generally better-managed when the trustees have appointed a professional managing agency to collect and administer levies efficiently and to assist them to run the building or complex properly.
Other Articles of interest to Tenants
Tenant Rights in South Africa

Rental Housing Act Amendment

Author: Barry Davies

Beware of Fraud in the Rental Market

crossed-fingers-at-handshakeThe public is urged to be aware of a bogus rental scheme that is taking place around the country.

This seems to work so well it has been gaining popularity!  Individuals pretend to be estate agents and target unsuspecting potential renters. They post details of rental properties online and then ask interested parties to secure the flat by paying a deposit, either in cash or via electronic funds transfer.
 
A Sea Point man was arrested in August on fraud charges after allegedly conning nine people after an advert on Gumtree.
 
The suspect reportedly advertised a flat for rent and then asked interested parties to secure the flat by paying a deposit and the first months rent, which in itself is normal terms and conditions. However, when it came time to move in, victims find the flat is occupied and the suspect has made off with the deposit.
 
These bogus agents inform potential renters that a number of people are interested in the property and are urged to view and pay the deposit and / or first months rent and they would get the property. With a tremendous scarcity it seems there are plenty of desperate tenants who fall for this.
 
Should tenants have an interest in a property it is recommend that you phone the local office of the estate agency to establish that the agent is a registered agent with that company. But of course it is easy to use the name of a real agent so do not just use the number you are given but look it up yourself.
 

Never transfer money without seeing a contract first or without verifying that you are dealing with the owner or the owner’s representative. Do not pay a deposit without solid confirmation that the organisation is following legal procedures. Easier said than done if you are desperate to secure the apartment.

Crime Stop

quoteSouth Africa’s trusted tip-off service since 1992.
In two decades the anonymity of not even one informer has been compromised. We all have a responsibility to make South Africa safer for our children and every law-abiding citizen.

If you have information that can assist in exposing people involved in illegal activities, please contact us anonymously when you know:

WHO DID WHAT TO WHOM, WHEN, WHERE, WHY AND HOW?

Remember, the detectives are keen to follow up your information. Please give as many details as possible.

 

Crime Stop

quoteSouth Africa’s trusted tip-off service since 1992.
In two decades the anonymity of not even one informer has been compromised. We all have a responsibility to make South Africa safer for our children and every law-abiding citizen.

If you have information that can assist in exposing people involved in illegal activities, please contact us anonymously when you know:

WHO DID WHAT TO WHOM, WHEN, WHERE, WHY AND HOW?

Remember, the detectives are keen to follow up your information. Please give as many details as possible.