A Wake up Call –  Figuratively and Literally


One can never relax when it comes to personal security no matter how safe you feel in your personal environment.

Shortly before my alarm was set to go off at 4:00am this morning to publish today’s newsletter, 3:51am in fact, I was awoken by loud shouting outside my abode. Rising to see what all the commotion was about I ventured out into the cold morning air but the shouting and running footsteps had abated so turning on the kettle for my first cup of coffee I settled down at my PC to start this newsletter.

Moments later a knock at my door heralded the arrival of Cape St Francis Resort manager, Shaun Tessendorf at my door to tell me that my car had been broken into. Now I am pretty good about locking my car at night but for some reason didn’t last night and so my unlocked car was an perfect prey for the early morning prowlers who had entered the resort to do mischief.

A month or so ago John Hammond presented an initiative to install CCTV camera’s around known hotspots in St Francis Bay with a view to extending into the residential areas. At the time I considered it a good idea but because of costs wondered if it would ever become a reality. Well this morning convinced me it truly is an extremely effective way of controlling crime or at least giving a heads up of potential suspicious activity.

Cape St Francis Resort installed an extensive CCTV network some time ago and it demonstrated its effectiveness to me when I watched the video playback of a robbery that had taken place a few minutes earlier when the thieves decided to help themselves to the contents of my car. The CCTV monitors in the security office at the resort picked up two prowlers at 3:46am and immediately called Shaun. Now Shaun must sleep fully clothed for it was his shouting that I heard just four minutes after he had been alerted by security.

From the CCTV coverage one can see the robbers as clear as daylight walking to where my car is parked, one to do the deed and the other to keep watch. Within minutes Shaun and security arrive from opposite directions but sadly the robbers took flight, hence the shouting that awoke me as Shaun and his security gave chase. Sadly they managed to evade capture but the CCTV images are so clear Shaun immediately recognised the one so clear was the video.

If I wasn’t positive about CCTV surveillance before, I certainly am now. The footage is crystal clear and there is little doubt this type of footage can only assist the police when bringing robbery cases to court. And talking of the police, two of SAPS members who were patrolling Cape St Francis, arrived within ten minutes to take a statement from me. I must at this point praise the manner in which they dealt with the case and the professionalism they dealt with the matter during the hour or so that it took them to fill in reams of paperwork. It certainly gives one confidence that they dot all the I’s and cross all the T’s.

Well done to Shaun and his team for their alertness in the early hours of the morning. We may not be immune to crime but at least we at the resort, know we are being protected for had the thieves had more time, who knows, they may have escaped with more than just a pair of binoculars.

A ‘Wake-Up Call’ both figuratively and literally and I will certainly pay attention to my personal security in future as we can never anticipate when we will be victims of crime.