Sandton Guardians serve as eyes and ears of community

Sector 4 Sandton Guardians manager Luewellyn Pillay chats to the Sandton Chronicle about the work of the guardians in reducing crime. Photo: Sarah Koning

Sandton Guardians has become the eyes and ears of the Kelvin, Buccleuch, Wendywood and surrounding communities, alerting police and security companies of any suspicious activity and building a sense of community within the high-walled areas.

Sector 4 Sandton Guardians manager Luewellyn Pillay said the group of active community members who began in 2016 had grown to include 70 members.

“We go beyond patrolling and the guardians in Kelvin range from 19-year-olds to pensioners, from corporate executives to soccer moms all playing a role to secure and protect their area from adverse situations,” said Pillay.

The guardians do not operate as a form of a vigilantism, but rather function to alert relevant authorities to incidents of crime or medical emergencies in the area. They also assist at crime scenes and patrol intersections where smash and grabs have been taking place regularly.

Pillay said he had been involved in everything from pointing out suspicious activity in the area to gathering intel on a safe house that was bust in Kelvin in November last year.

“We need communities to mobilise so that perpetrators are met with a response. Your closest form of security should be your neighbour. Perpetrators must understand that when they target you, 40 people will respond.

“We have definitely seen crime statistics lower in our area since the guardians started work. We want to see people come out from behind their high walls and talk to each other and use the public open spaces.”

Luewellyn Pillay, Sector 4 Sandton Guardians manager believes that active community members who care for their neighbours make for a safer community. Photo: Sarah Koning

Active patroller and senior citizen Margie Wewege said she had been involved in patrolling the Kelvin area and alerting authorities to any suspicious activity for six months. “I think it is an excellent idea that has reduced crime because of more vigilance,” she said. ”

“I have lived in Kelvin for 35 years and I want to be an active part of the community and meet my neighbours.”
Pillay said, “When crime happens, we have the choice to run off to Australia or do something about it. That’s why I got involved in the Kelvin Residents Association and the guardians… If 80 per cent of our community were looking out for each other, it would be tough for criminals to operate.

“Security is not about building walls. We are the prisoners in our high walls, excluding ourselves from making use of open spaces out of fear. It should be the criminals who fear.”

The Sandton Guardians are looking for volunteers to assist in all other sectors of Sandton and Buccleuch. If you would like to volunteer, email [email protected]

 

Talk to us by sending a message on our Facebook page or you can email our editor at [email protected]

  AUTHOR
Sarah Koning

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