For the Maitland City Improvement District public safety is a major concern. A large portion of the bi-monthly board meeting is usually devoted on discussing safety reports and advise on strategies to improve the general situation.
However, during general patrols the safety and security team main will not only be busy with the identification of problem areas, persons and activities, it will also engage with the general public to make them aware of possible dangerous situations and assist them with information when needed.
Officers find that their work on stopping and searching suspicious persons is paying off and in the process, they have succeeded in confiscating dangerous weapons and removing housebreaking equipment from the streets. According to a monthly report more than 650 such stop and searches were conducted in September.
In the period from beginning July to September this year, the following incidents were logged:
- A toy gun was removed from a stroller at midnight;
- A car that was being driven recklessly, was stopped and the three young occupants had an open bottle of vodka and a dangerous knife with them;
- On investigation of a report by a scrap yard owner, two men were found with stolen PRASA property, of which one is a well-known criminal;
- On investigating a report of a break-in the team could assist with recovering two spare wheels, six mag rims and vehicle batteries;
- Often people are found with drugs; and
- Theft of a car battery was prevented when the owner of the vehicles called in to report suspicious activities at her car that was parked the street.
CCTV camera surveillance also makes a valuable contribution to curb crime and to follow up incidents like hit-and-run accidents.
On the cleaning side of things, it was reported that the maintenance schedule is often interrupted with other activities requiring immediate response, such as clearing a street of debris after a motor vehicle accident. Attention is also given to the removal of graffiti from bridges and municipal infrastructure. Picking up litter and removing rubble of illegal dumping sites are also major activities. More than 250 incidents of littering were logged during August and September 2017 and 3716 blue bags were used for cleaning that up.
The cleaning team also keep an eye out for damage to road signs, mainly caused by motor vehicle accidents, and other infrastructure. This also include potholes.