Criminals must have identified Houghton once upon a time as the perfect neighborhood to plunder, to loot the rich pickings. The many Jewish residents in the area did something about the once upon a time obscenely high crime levels, and the result, the brainchild of rabbi Warren Goldstein is the highly effective, highly visible armed "tactical units" co-ordinated by local call centres.
Since I am a recent resident to the area, I've been somewhat charmed, somewhat amused by the large flocks of Jewish people walking around on Saturdays. But you have to hand it to them, they, as communities, came together, decided to do something and did something - which has proved as I say very successful in combatting the absurd and abyssmal crime situation faced by the wealthy suburbanites in Johannesburg. I can also attest that the neighborhood does feel safe, and for Johannesburg, that's saying a lot.
Every street appears to be patrolled, and CAP vehicles cruise by continuously. In one particular dip there is a temporary shelter like a tent, and often two security guards are there, near to a sign that says: "Are you being followed home?" Obviously, this is what the police ought to be doing, but failing obviously in this, the community here have found a way to finance it (and it appears only a wealthy community would be able to).
Interestingly, although these units are armed, they are also backed up (I believe) by teams of Jewish lawyers, who, in the case of an incident, will - one supposes - be able to uphold the rights that need to be upheld (and not allow the rights of criminals to be upheld).
I find it amusing that Essop Pahad (not Aessop) made some comments (in yesterday's Sunday Times) about the death penalty not being up for discussion, as it is a human rights issue. I guess it's the human right of a murderer to murder, but if caught, he has the right to face a lighter sentence - effectively moving the rights of the majority of the population in favour of rights for the criminals. Very astute Mr Politician.
For background on this effective crime fighting stratergy, call o86 18 000 18 or go here:
Protection at a price