Area's crime prevention measures now the determining factor in a house purchase

Capping remarks made recently by many Cape residential property marketers, Lanice Steward of Anne Porter Knight Frank has advised buyers to make certain that the area into which they hope to move does take its crime prevention seriously.

“It is regrettable,” she said, “but we have to tell people these days that if they intend to live in a middle class suburb they should check thoroughly to ensure that the area has security measures, bicycle and van patrols, armed response units and neighbourhood watch arrangements.

“We are now looking at a situation in which up to 10% of homes in some areas will experience a break-in or a grounds robbery each year. The good news, however, is that if the necessary precautions are taken crime is almost invariably well contained.”

In the current conditions, said Steward, neighbourhood watches can be a really important factor in containing crime, particularly in the participants stick to their duties over a long period.

“When a neighbourhood watch works as it should, as for example has happened throughout the Hout Bay valley, it can lead to an excellent community spirit with neighbours getting to know and rely on each other far better than they would ever have done in the past.”

The fruit of this community spirit in Hout Bay, said Steward, was seen when the recent attacks on foreign Africans occurred. Immediate response from the local churches and the neighbourhood watch groups to protect and care for those whose lives and property were now endangered resulted in new ties being formed between the more affluent sections of the more conservative law-abiding sections of the community which will have beneficial results for the entire Hout Bay valley over the coming year.

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