Our household have joined the Hout Bay Neighbourhood Watch (HBNW) in an attempt to help our village get to grips with the crime which has gone on a sudden upshoot. This has had both positive and somewhat of negative aspects to it.
The positive: direct access to everything happening in your area, awareness of any potential dodgy characters which have been seen in the area, a stronge sense of community and a feeling of empowerment.
The negative: direct access to everything happening in your area, awareness of any potential dodgy characters which have been seen in the area, inability to pretend you live in a land of rainbows and unicorns as well as a radio buzzing at your side constantly, waking you up…am sure you get the idea.
The newest thing to adjust to is my husband shooting off when there is any sign of trouble. Unarmed, unprotected and vulnerable. This happened today when he got an alert there is a break-in in progress a few blocks away. I was really worried about him, you never know what you are going to arrive to see or what you may run into. I started to get a feeling of resentment that I am worried because my husband is out looking after other people.
But then I had a bit of a wake up call and got to grips with my sense of privilege – how can I expect HBNW to look out for me and yet I am not willing to do the same for others?
I am so thankful to the men and women who work tirelessly for the HBNW, who get so little sleep, who live on full scale alert, who jump to run and protect their neighbours. I have been on the receiving end of this protection, the night of our first break in we had so much support from them. Even people calling in the next day to check up on us.
Now is the time to pay it back. It is time to take back our village, to clamp down on these bastards who are wreaking terror on our community. The only way to do this is as a united front – together.