Do we need Car Guards?

At a recent meeting was held to discuss the increase in the number of job seekers congregating on corner of St Francis Drive and Assisi Drive in the vicinity of the St Francis Bay tennis courts and the need for car guards. Regarding car guards, are they really necessary? Most of us know how to drive and need no assistance in negotiating our way in or out of a parking spot and as for protecting our vehicles, are car guards a hindrance or an opportunity for organised pilfering?

But the ever growing groups of job seekers congregating and looking for work are a concern.  Certainly there is a high rate of unemployment and one must feel for those trying to put food on the table. But is picking up an unknown job seeker safe? You have no way of knowing who or what sort of person you are employing and even it is for only a couple hours to assist with a menial task, are you not compromising your safety or security?

A proposal put forward was that all casual job seekers should be registered and background checks be done on them so as to exclude those with criminal records. A good idea! In addition to this the suggestion was made that an area in Sea Vista be determined where all job seekers would congregate in future and those looking to employ casual labour would then fetch workers from there.  Another good idea and it could work .…  but!

Legally there is no way those who gather on St Francis Drive can be stopped from continuing to gather. And to further the problem, those looking for casual workers will continue to use the area as a pick up zone. So unless everyone commits to the idea of travelling to Sea Vista to fetch casual labour the concept is doomed. But maybe the idea needs to be developed further. Possibly all casual job seekers can be encouraged to register and then be issued with an identity badge with photo. Then the community needs to be encouraged to only employ those who carry these ID ‘s and maybe name and shame those who insist on using unregistered casual workers. Once these job seekers know it is the only way they will get casual work they will be queuing to register. Knowing they will only get work if they assemble in the designated area in Sea Vista would largely reduce loitering along St Francis Drive.

And back to the matter of Car Guards, these registered casual workers could form  a squad of ‘car guards’ for special events where car guards may be required from time to time.

But it can only work if everyone buys into the scheme, workers and employers and hopefully the Community Policing Forum will pursue this initiative. Just another way of “Saving St Francis” and making it a better place to live or visit.

More tomorrow on Neighbour Watch and why CCTV security must be seriously considered.