A blog post on the St Francis Property Owners lit up this past weekend with a string of positive comments 

CCTV installation by ELFWith little news to report on today and with the fires seemingly controlled for the moment, thank goodness, we felt maybe a blog post could fill a gap. The following is a personal commentary and not intended as news. It is motivated by the way social media lit up on a post under the St Francis Property Owners Facebook page this past weekend. Photos of a  CCTV installation crew with the caption “More Good news! We have begun beefing up our security. The CCTV Camera project got underway this week  …..” was the catalyst.

That the CCTV installation has begun is indeed good news. Most residents will have welcomed the news for faced with rising crime, many surely live with a fear of being the next victim of a break in or worse, an armed home invasion. So this has got to be good news and a start to making St Francis a little bit safer and secure by discouraging criminals from foraging in St Francis.

Although the overwhelming majority of comments were positive, there are always those who would dampen the cheers. They say there are ‘none so blind as those who will not see’ and this seems certainly true of one contrarian. No matter how positive the actions of the SFPO may be, there is always someone there to find a negative. The CCTV is a very positive step forward but the antagonist has chosen to misrepresent what the SFPO is doing so as to sew a little more disharmony amongst those who are less than informed of the real facts. The statement that the CCTV is protecting “only the Canals and the Village” is simply untrue so surely it time to stop the negative comments, untruths and outright lies to create disinformation within the community.

Of course there will always be those who will criticize and denigrate anything and everything. They won’t actively participate to help improve matters lest they are found out for what they really are. It is so much safer to sit on the side-lines and shout than to actually participate and achieve.

For the record and this comes after questioning an SFPO committee member after reading the comment the CCTV is only for the canals and village. The reply was that cameras are, as per their latest newsletter, being installed at major intersections stretching from the Canals along St Francis Drive, past and including Tarragona and three major intersections towards the Port. I addition cameras will cover all entry / exit points to and from St Francis Bay. Budget constraints will probably not see as many cameras installed as some would want but it is a good start with over 100 cameras in the initial phase and it will surely help reduce crime.

But  back to the Facebook post! As stated, the majority of posts were positive but there were a couple of questions that deserve comment. ‘Is there a map of the camera placements’, ‘who will do the monitoring’, ‘who will react’ and a few others.  It is doubtful a general entering into battle would post his battle plan to the enemy general before battle and we do hope those planning, manning and controlling will never make this information public. It would be rather like a homeowner pinning a diagram of his security layout on the front door or the bank manager pinning the safe combination on the safe’s door.  But then Facebook does have the effect on people to write without thought and sometimes without considering the consequence of their comments. That is what makes it such fun at times.

Planning the CCTV installation hasn’t been a hastily drawn out plan on the back of a cigarette box. Over two years of planning involving SAPS, the security companies, the policing forums, Kouga Municipality, the SFPO and those experienced in CCTV deployment have been involved in the process.  Will it be as comprehensive as some of those systems seen on TV (China, London, et al). NO it won’t but it will be the best St Francis Bay can afford with the budget available at the moment.

Everyone in St Francis Bay should salute and support SFPO’s efforts in trying to make St Francis Bay a better place to live. If there is any doubt of the municipality not being able to do all that it should for their major rate payers, it is time to accept realities. One need only read of all the failings of SOE’s and municipalities to realise that money from government coffers is fast drying up and less and less will be filtered down to municipal coffers whose first priority is service delivery to the poor communities not rich ‘white settlements’.