Be a hero, not a victim

There are articles and warnings published daily on how not to become a victim, but the reality is that someone will be.

A sad fact about living in South Africa is that many residents face harsh economic realities, and when people are desperate, some turn to crime.

Someone once told me that the trick to not getting burgled was to make sure your house was that much harder to get into than the next guy’s. It seems heartless to hope that a criminal chooses your neighbour’s house instead of yours … but, hey, they should have known better, right? Wrong.

It should not be about making yourself safe, it should be about making your community safe.

Something I have noticed during my time working for local newspapers is that the same names pop up all the time. It is the same group of individuals at the Community Policing Forum meetings, the same groups getting involved in crime and grime clean-ups and the same individuals lending their support where they can. Sadly, most people are not involved in their communities until something happens that changes everything.

Nobody wants to be a victim, yet we have so few people willing to be the heroes.

If this column can inspire five people to start looking at what they can do to get involved in their community, it has achieved its objective. Are you willing to be one of those five people?

Joining your local residents’ association, Community Policing Forum, Neighbourhood Watch or community support group means that there is one extra set of hands helping. It means there is one more active voice in the community and one more resident prepared to take a stand against crime and grime. Can you imagine if 30 new people got involved, or an entire community decided to actively take a stand against crime in their area? Criminals would not stand a chance.

If this column does one thing, I hope it gets you thinking about how you can help better your community and make a difference.

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