Message From Our Chairman, John

Hi all in CKN

CKN turns 24 this month, it feels like only yesterday I put together a newsletter for our 23rd birthday.

I was wondering about what to put down in a newsletter as something different for our 24th birthday and so I’ll be sharing some incidents I can recall from my time in the area and also some thoughts on what an association is and the difference it makes to have one.

Recovered vehicle – many will not know we had a caravan park where the Kia dealership is now, access via CKN. Well, one night I got a call of an abandoned car in Stamperboom. Took a walk and once there I asked the police to check on the registration. It came as wanted and belonged to a resident of the caravan park. The police arrived and the two of us set off to the caravan park. Quite a mission to navigate the park but we found the owner of the car. He had been hijacked, driven around, and dropped off (I can’t remember where), and for some or other reason, the car was left close to where it had been taken. One very grateful owner.

Three fires at once – It was a cold winter Friday night and I was collecting pizza. I got called that a house was on fire. Left the order and raced to the house to find we had three house fires. A lapa at a house in Boomgom had caught fire and as it was very windy, sparks had spread to two more homes. Fortunately, three fire engines arrived, and the fires were quickly extinguished. We had later supper that night.

Found child – I received a call from the police one night asking for help in finding a missing child that had gone missing from their home in Weltevredenpark. (this was the days before Whatsapp). I started phoning those on our patrol list (we as residents did patrol) and to meet at the vet. Once I finished phoning, I proceeded to the vet. It was amazing to see all the CKN residents that had arrived. After a briefing, we hit the road. Some hours later the young boy was found and reunited with his family. A proud night for CKN.

Whilst I did not want to go into some of the crime-related incidents we have had in the area, I thought I would share a little-known incident we had of a brothel that operated in Boomgom Street some years ago. Yes, I am sure many of you are surprised at the mention of that! Once it came to our attention we got the police involved and after much harassment from the police and having our dedicated cars give the house some extra attention, the occupants moved out one night without saying a word and leaving the house standing empty.

Then just some personal thoughts from my time as Chairman in the area and, from having worn several hats over the years, including CPF Chairman and sector chairman.

Many do not realize how powerful an association can be. What a difference we can make when we all come together as one. Hence our motto of “no man is an island” in CKN. CKN membership is at some 70 percent, very high for an association, so I must thank the many in the area that supports us and share our vision of a safer and cleaner neighborhood.

CKN’s crime-fighting model is unique in that the CKN members pay to have the cars you see actively roaming our streets with the instructions to stop crime before it starts. So many companies remain reactive and only respond to an alarm signal after the fact. Many companies do offer “dedicated” cars but remember for a company to do that, they need at least some 200 homes to break even on their costs. Many have said the more security companies represented in an area the better as you will have more cars patrolling. Not so. It’s a cost thing and for a company to have a car in an area is costing them a large amount of money. The “shotgun” effect does not work.

I have always been a firm believer in visible policing and hence the dedicated cars that do not leave the area.

Having a dedicated service provider that we get invoiced for gives us a greater say in what they do in the area and we are not just a number. I chat with the officers daily along with their manager and liaise almost daily with the head of Dowry. We have a good team that knows the area and does not change on a regular basis.

We can only keep these cars on the road with our financial help.

I have so often heard the statement of “I don’t need to belong to an association and crime will not affect me!” And when crime does come, I hear “I never thought it would happen to me and now, how can I get involved.” It is so sad that some want to make use of our cars without contributing to their running. I do not know of many areas across Johannesburg that have what we have in dedicated cars and a bicycle.

Have you ever wondered why the cars are marked CKN?

Also is the security company registered both with PSIRA and SAIDSA? If you have an incident at your house and the company is not registered, your insurance may not payout.

Being chairman for a long as I have in the area has also meant I have had a close interaction with the Honeydew Police Station. Unfortunately, Honeydew has been in the top 5 worst police stations in the country for many years now. If we take into account our crime-related incidents for CKN, we contribute next to nothing to the precinct crime stats. Crime stats for CKN can be found on our website. Is it not in the interests of all who live here to try and make the area safe for all?

Over the years I have seen so many traumatic and sad crime-related incidents. I still patrol with the police and for many years had a police radio as CPF chairman. Crime is real and closer than you think but as long as we can keep our area safe, we will continue our efforts. We can’t change the world, but we can try our best to keep our little piece of SA safe.

Coming back to my comment on an association, many see the benefit in joining in not only keeping the area safe but knowing one’s neighbor and being part of a community that cares. CKN helped feed some 8 families last year during the lockdown, thanks to the contributions of many in the area and our market days in the park have become a real talking point.

Again, it’s so sad there are some that still don’t know who or what CKN is or just don’t want to be part of what CKN has become.

Whilst CKN was formed many years ago to fight crime, it has moved from not only crime-fighting but to maintenance and beautifying of the area.

Have you ever wondered to why the area is so well maintained? Just have a look at Constantia Drive and the park in Kroton Street. There is a team of three gents overseen by a resident in Worsboom Street that work once a week in the area. They cut grass, clean pavements, and gutters and pick up litter. All this also from the monthly contributions of residents Did you notice the entrance at Albert Street got a facelift a few weeks ago?

The efforts of crime-fighting and area maintenance have made our little area a sought-after place to live. House prices have not lost value. It is sad though that estate agents use the CKN name to sell homes but give us no benefit from the sale.

In closing, I need to highlight to those that do not get our emails and are not on our WhatsApp groups the amount of time and effort that goes into the area by many of the residents and committee members. And please note, all with no remuneration.

We have people that log calls immediately water is off, or the electricity gets cut. Fortunately, we have a councilor that does a lot for us and we also have a resident on the ward committee. We have a fantastic website, people that run a lost animal group and they are very busy at times, and up to date database of the area, a bank statement that gets reconciled monthly, emails get sent out regularly, market days that are well planned and well attended, attendance of sector meetings with the police, regular meetings with Dowry and also CKN committee meetings and
I am sure there are other matters I have overlooked.

To all the family members of the committee and the ad-hoc committee members, thank you for allowing these great people the time they so gladly give to CKN.

To the many that make CKN a great place to live, thank you. 24 years is a long time and we have something we can be proud of.

Here’s to another 24.
Stay safe
John

2020 Recap

Our final newsletter for the year 2020!

To all our non CKN members, we would love to have you as a member. Please consider joining us in the new year.

There are many that still tell us they do not know what CKN is and or that we exist.

So just in short, after almost 24 years in existence, we have had one main focus, that of preventing crime in the area. The police cannot do it on their own, security companies are largely reactive and so that leaves a large gap in our security. It is up to you and I take a stand. Everyone in the area will have seen the dedicated Dowry patrol, paid for by the residents and they are marked CKN 1 and CKN2. We also have a guard on a bicycle.

2020 has been a very quiet year in CKN and one we can be extremely grateful for considering all the crime around us. Full stats on our website.

Our other area of focus recently has been area maintenance. Council are failing us in the upkeep of our area, so we have employed a team of three that clean in CKN weekly. Have you noticed the cut grass, clean gutters and lack of litter?

Your CKN contributions go to keeping the area safe and clean.

Just briefly, on 15 December the three gents and I tackled the entire intersection at Albert Street and Hendrik Potgieter. We cleaned the drains, cleaned the gutters, picked up litter and removed illegal signs. A tiering exercise and but very rewarding. Sad to say, you then walk back into the area only to discover pavements that haven’t seen any attention in months. As soon as we get back to work in the area, we will cut their pavements. We will also continue to tackle the intersections that lead into CKN.

The new year will also see a renewed “fight” on the empty and unkept homes in the area. This is our neighborhood and I know the majority take pride in it and want a clean and neat suburb.

What we did this past year.

Our main focus as stated above is crime fighting. Whilst we were not crime free this year, we did have a very good year and the crime related incidents in CKN were very few. Please see our website for a breakdown of incidents.

There was a very successful arrest by Dowry of a hijacker along with arrests for the theft out of a car and for burglary.

Despite the challenges of Covid, we kept our two and bicycle on the road. Not for one day did Dowry let us down.

Thanks to the generosity of many in the area, we fed a number of families due to job losses or income being cut. CKN, you made you made yourself proud.

We launched a new web site.

Joy and her team kept CKN neat and clean.

Many residents got involved in the “dump fire” and made a huge difference in getting the matter resolved. A more sustainable solution is still sought.

Again, many residents chased up service issues like Pikitup doing what they are mandated to do. Service issues remain a huge challenge and the City needs to be held to account. They are failing us.

We found and returned many lost animals to their homes.

Held a successful Christmas market.

Many estate agents use the efforts of CKN to sell homes in the area and I receive many requests around do I know if any homes are going to be sold?

2020 was a challenging year to all. It was a year many will remember as the year brought many unexpected challenges, and many got used a new “norm”, but we adapted and overcame.

In closing, I want to thank each one for their support over the past year. The list of those than contributed to the smooth running of CKN is a long one and I do not want to leave anyone out. You know who you are I so great big thank you. I must add, that when ever there was help needed, someone was always there to raise their hand.

Have a happy new year and may the new year be a prosperous and peaceful one.

Stay safe John

Honeydew and CKN crime statistics – Apr 2019 to Mar 2020

The crime statistics for the last financial year were released this morning. Herewith just a quick breakdown of what happened in Honeydew and then also, how CKN contributed in this period.

This is probably one of the best ways to evaluate our efforts in our neighborhood in the fight against crime

Honeydew did not fare well and I have also noted where the police station falls nationally. The period in question is April 2019 to March 2020.

I have only listed the main crimes but a full list will be posted to our website or you can go to www.saps.gov.za

https://www.ckn.org.za/crime.html

Murder Honeydew – 60 CKN – 0 not in top 30

Carjacking Honeydew – 173 CKN – 1 up by 35 percent – number 8 station in the country

Home invasions Honeydew – 341 CKN – 4 up by 3.6 percent – number one station in the country

Burglary Honeydew – 1 175 CKN – 3 down 7 percent – number 2 station in the country

Theft of car Honeydew – 670 CKN – 1 + 2 bikes up 1 percent – number 4 station in the country

Theft out of car Honeydew – 1 250 CKN – 1 up 17 percent – number 7 station in the country

Kidnapping Honeydew – 46 CKN – 0 up 70 percent – number 17 station in the country – this is just bizarre

When I have time I’ll do another mail of the policing areas around Honeydew.

Newsletter 1st October

Be Aware

Just a quick catch up. Violent crime has certainly been on the increase and house robberies and hijackings are a big worry. Please report anything suspicious and take the utmost care when coming home. Dowry constantly find open gates on their patrols. Please ensure your gate are closed at all times and the same goes for security gates.

Criminal Records, How do I check?

I have been asked how can one ensure the person you are employing does not have a criminal record? The police are happy to check ID’s numbers so we can do two things. You can contact the police direct or you can send me the person’s name and ID and I will ask on your behalf.

Help Us Help You

I have requested this before but if the house next to you is empty, please let me know so we can try to find out what is happening. The same goes for unkept properties. We do have some that are so overgrown it is beyond belief. We will ask the health department for help.

Then a request from a resident. When you walk your dog, please pick up behind them. Let’s do all we can to keep our neighborhood clean.

Newsletter 4th September 2020

Just a quick catch up.

Crime Update

Considering all the crime that is taking place and more importantly the violent crime, CKN is quiet and it is heartening not to have to report on regular crime incidents. Some areas close to us are certainly having it rough.

Please take care at all times as crime comes in so many forms.

So more house keeping this week than crime reports. We have been asked to have a CKN get together before the end of the year so a market will be organised for a date in November.

Neighbourhood Clean Up

Then we will use September as a time to give our neighbourhood a bit of a makeover. Joy and her team are doing a great job in the area but I am asking that you please maintain your pavement and sweep your gutters. I am sure we all want a clean and tidy neighbourhood. Litter seems to be everywhere, especially with the present ad-hoc refuse collections.

The properties that are standing open are receiving our attention and in some cases, we will have to involve the health department as the yards are very overgrown and I have reports of rats.

Also, our park needs some extra maintenance. I am asking for some help on Saturday 12 September to tackle the weeds and clear the brick paving. So to all those that say let me know when you need help, I am taking you up on your offer. If we can meet at 10h00 for two hours we can make a difference. Let’s get our park ready for summer.

Flower Pots Needed

Finally, do you have a large flower pot you want to get rid of? I am looking for one or two to put by the guardhouse at Kroton Street as we want to also make the entrance more attractive.

If there is anything you want tackled in the area, please let me know.

We welcome Athelie to the committee. She will be assisting Surine and Lloyd with the finances, and also thank you to Roxanne who will be taking over the CKN website. As soon as it is migrated to a new host, there will be a lot of photos to share.

Newsletter 10th August 2020

Thankful

Finding time for all the CKN admin is not always easy but today I found a gap to do some catch-up and got to go through our database and bank statement. It is so heartening to see all the members we have and their continued support of the area. Thank you for the ongoing support as we continue to try and make CKN a safer place for all that live here.

Welcome to the new members that joined us in the last two months. Our membership remains high and it is something we can be proud of. We do have some work to do to get those that are not members as yet to join us. There are not that many but we do have room to grow some more.

Thank you to Sharon in Kroton Street who painted the pillars to the park at both entrances. All these small things make the area smarter.

I have been walking my Great Dane daily lately as we lost his sister recently and we go through the park. It is quite an experience as everyone on the walk wants to “talk” to him. It’s also been great to meet so many people. The park is well utilised and someone told me they come from outside the area to use it as it is neat and tidy.

We have to thank Joy and her team for all the work in the park and area. The team picked up litter last week along Hendrik Potgieter, 21 bags!

Stay Aware

Last week a car was stolen overnight in Okkerneut Street. Again, the gate was lifted or the gate motor over-ridden. One’s electronic gate or motor remains one of the weakest points of access to your property. Please ensure your gate motor is secure and your gate cannot be lifted.

I was asked a question about the latest crime stats that were recently released. Does number one mean Honeydew is the best? No, it means for the category we are the worst! 2, second-worst in the country etc. This is out of some 1200 policing areas. I have been involved with the Honeydew police for some 21 years and things do not get better. Sad to say but it leaves us with no choice but to continue our crime-fighting efforts in the area.