3. Awareness – the next level

3. Awareness – the next level

After having talked about general awareness in tip 1 (click here), we then went on to talk about layered security. We now want to get back to what encompasses the whole idea of security and being secure.

There is a saying that a man’s home is his castle. Let’s make this practical. Imagine for one moment your home as a castle. I know, having a drawbridge and a moat with flesh-eating crocodiles might not be so practical in 2010, but let’s look deeper into this. In days of kings and castle, the king was surrounded by people living and working in his kingdom, so in many instances you had to travel through a town before getting to the castle itself. Might this be an example of layered security? Let’s assume this for now.

In modern times we have become so modernized and civilized that we don’t even know what our neighbours look like, let alone know their names. We would say that security on farms is 100% dependant on this factor – how well do you know your neighbours and how well do you get along. So, why are criminals in town doing what they’re doing? Most probably because they know that even if your alarm goes off or your security lights start disco dancing, your neighbours will be so busy watching 7e Laan that they won’t even bother looking out of their windows. That is, if they can see over the 10 foot wall between yourselves and them.

So what has awareness to do with this? When last have you noticed anything about your neighbours? Do you know what cars they drive? Do you know how many people are staying in their house? Are you a bit aware of their routine? Did you know the lady across the street runs a hairdresser from home? Or that her husband is an architect? Or are we all so caught up in our own worlds, that we don’t have time, nor care?

This is where it all starts (and unfortunately where it all comes undone). If you look at criminals targeting farmers, their biggest fear is that the whole neighbourhood might descent on them so fast they wouldn’t know what hit them. Why? Because the whole neighbourhood knows each other and have decided to start sticking together as one against crime. Also, the farmer doesn’t have the “luxury” of a reaction force vehicle close by. (By the way – have you ever thought about the term “reaction force’? Maybe if someone reacts, it is too late????)

In town, we don’t follow the example farmers do. We lead our own separate lives and then we wonder how could people hold us at gunpoint for half an hour without anybody coming to our rescue? Just the other day I read in a paper of a man fighting it out with criminals and all the passers-by just doing that – passing by. I walked out of a bank one day, hearing the security guards shouting “thief, thief”. I immediately joined in the chase, and the criminal was brought down by a guy sitting at a restaurant table. He immediately handed over the perp to the guards stating very clearly “I don’t want to be involved.”

Is it any wonder then that we are all alone out there in a sea of crime? With no-one coming to our rescue? Are you willing to get involved? Are you tired enough of crime? Are you willing to make a stand? Then maybe its time to start meeting your neighbours and telling them that you should start looking out for each other. Become vigilant, notice their daily patterns and be there when they need you.

You might need one of them someday, they will be the knights and villagers surrounding your castle whom you can call on to help you with the fight.

Keep safe out there – be aware, be alert and THINK.

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