GRIT starts MID Public Safety Service

From Saturday 1 October 2016 the MID Public Safety service will be provided by GRIT Security Services

GRIT was awarded the contract following a robust tender selection process managed by the Muizenberg Improvement District (MID) Board and a sub-committee of MID members who represented property owners, business and community organisations.

MID Public Safety Director, Hugo Coetzee said the new contract clearly outlines the scope of services to be provided by GRIT. These include patrolling and support in public space; and intelligence gathering to assist relevant crime prevention stakeholders with law enforcement and public safety within the MID.

 

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Left to right: Hugo Coetzee, MID Public Safety Director, Lesley Schroeder, MID Deputy Chair, Teuns Schamrel, Managing Director Grit Security Services with his patrol team: Fabian Francis, Raymond Bulley, Lindikile Ngqika and Akhona Gcemema. Photo credit: Louis Joubert

The 24/7 public safety service will be done by patrollers on bicycles and on foot and a patrol vehicle dedicated to the MID. If residents and visitors are harassed; are victims of crime; or notice suspicious behaviour in public space they can call 060 850 6260. This is a smart phone based in the GRIT control room so sms or WhatsApp messages will also be responded to.

GRIT Managing Director, Teuns Schamrel said he is pleased about being awarded the MID Public Safety Contract:

Our business is in the heart of Muizenberg and I want to make a difference in preventing crime. We already have many clients in Muizenberg and what happens in public space obviously affects our clients in their private homes and businesses.”

But Schamrel said he is not naïve about the challenges.
“An Improvement District is a tricky client, mainly because residents don’t always understand the role of Public Safety. From our past experience with the MID we know there are expectations that public safety patrollers should respond to break ins at private homes. We will make it clear from the outset that legally, our patrollers dedicated to the MID may not enter private property. If the caller is a client who has a private security contract with GRIT we will send a regular GRIT patrol vehicle to respond. If the caller does not have a contract with us, the best we can do is alert SAPS and encourage the caller to do the same.

Despite the sometimes blurred lines between public and private safety, Schamrel is confident that his team can play a positive role in curbing threats to public safety. As an ex-policeman with decades of experience in the service, he retains close working relationships with SAPS and Law Enforcement and his public safety team will not hesitate to assertively confront and report those who commit by-law and criminal offences in public space. He is opposed to the aggressive use of force but will expect his patrollers to swiftly subdue and handcuff those who commit crimes in public space and take them to the police station.

Schamrel said public safety requires connecting all the agencies and individuals who can help fight crime. GRIT will play an active role in the Joint Ops Forums and beyond that Schamrel said that they will also work closely with MCSI, the local neighbourhood Watch. To help improve community awareness, Schamrel and his team will address regular MID public meetings where they will talk about different crime topics and discuss trends and concerns in the village. The recent appointment of a MID social worker and fieldworkers is something he welcomes and his team will work closely with MID’s Social Development team dealing with social challenges in the Improvement District.

Issued by Lesley Schroeder, Stakeholder Engagement Director, MID

About MID

The Muizenberg Improvement District (MID) is a geographic area where property owners have contracted to pay a levy to facilitate a joint effort by the City of Cape Town and the local community to ensure more effective management of public areas and promote business confidence. The Muizenberg Improvement District is a legal not-for-profit company under the City’s Special Rating Areas by-law and also governed by the South African Companies Act 2008.

It is within this governance framework that the MID implements its mandate. This is driven by collaboration and the provision of top-up services in four distinct but integrally related areas of cleaning, environmental upliftment, social development and public safety.

The MID collaborates with city and provincial departments, state owned entities, NGOs and a wide range of residents and business people to improve Muizenberg. Improving means ‘adding to’ not taking away the responsibility for services. Therefore the MID provides strategic direction and puts focused pressure on City and Government agencies whose job it is to police and deliver services.

Website: http://www.mid.org.za

Enquiries: Chevone Petersen manager@mid.org.za   Cell: 082 463 1525