A Managed Security Scheme that ensures your community is safe and secure

SafeParks is a Non-Profit residents’ initiative which is solely focused on the management and implementation of proactive public-space security in the suburbs of Parkhurst.

SafeParks is managed by a management committee as part of the Parkhurst Village Residents & Business Owners Association (PRABOA), comprising volunteers whose sole qualifying criteria are that they are residents of Parkhurst and are passionate about ensuring the safety and security of our streets for our families and loved ones.

One of the Parkhurst Residents and Business Owners Association’s (PRABOA) goals is to improve the security of residents and businesses in Parkhurst. The problem and its basic solution can be distilled into a few key points:

  • The crime which affects us all originates on the streets.
  • It is impossible to secure our homes if we cannot secure the streets and public places.
  • Unlike our homes which are owned by individuals, public spaces are shared and a security solution to police them needs to be coordinated.
  • This can only be achieved if we as residents and business owners work together
  • SafeParks was created by PRABOA to achieve these goals
  • Cortac is a credible service provider who has been providing proactive security services for years. Residents are still able to choose who they want to provide their Home Security (alarm monitoring).Obviously we encourage residents to use Cortac, as this will strengthen our scheme and allow us to deploy additional security measures.
  • The  operations by Cortac consists of 3 * 24 hour patrol vehicles, all staffed with two operations officers; a dedicated area manager and an administration person:

Public Space Security  – PSS (Proactive):

  • This relates to the patrolling and monitoring of the public spaces of our suburbs, such as the streets, parks and other public spaces. It relates to all areas OUTSIDE the private homes and buildings.
  • As it is public space, law and order has traditionally been maintained by the SAPS and JMPD. Due to the increasing sophistication and aggression of criminals and the lack of resources of our law enforcement agencies, it has become necessary for us, as residents to cater for the monitoring of our streets.
  • This is what our proactive public space security initiative is about. Monitoring takes place via vehicle patrols, foot patrols and cameras.
  • Companies contracted to monitor your home alarm are not contractually obliged to disrupt crime in the public space. Their sole mandate is to respond to burglar alarms and assist the people within the home they have contracted.
  • The contract for this service is between the community organisation (SafeParks) and the Service Provider (Cortac).
  • The monthly subscriptions are collected by SafeParks, and Cortac is held accountable for its levels of service by SafeParks.

The key objectives of Public Space Security include the following:

  • Identify suspicious and criminal activity within the suburb
  • Prevent criminals from getting to their target (your house or driveway)
  • Apprehend criminals, and have them arrested by the SAPS
  • Drive criminal activity out of your suburb

Public Space Security (PSS) is important for your area because it contributes to the following aspects:

  • Security layers
  • Armed response, Street guards, protection of Public Space Areas.
  • Proven to be the most effective in reducing the number of contact crimes experienced in residential suburbs.
  • If crime happens at your gate (follow home) or armed robbery inside your house – you have a high chance of serious injury.
  • The goal is to constantly keep the threat of contact crime outside of the boundary of our suburbs and hence decrease the risk of contact crime.
  • Reducing one of the highest priority crimes in our suburbs: ‘follow homes’

The objective of SafeParks is to control the public space and make it unattractive for criminals to operate in the area.

Home Security (Reactive/Alarm Monitoring).

  • This relates to the security contract you have with a service provider such as ADT, Cortac, CSS, 24/7 etc, to react to burglar alarm activations from your home or business. You are fully responsible for ensuring service levels, response times, etc.
  • The benefit of having the same service provider as the public space security provider, thus Cortac, is that if there are service level issues, these can be taken up by SafeParks. In addition your subscriptions go towards the success of the overall SafeParks initiative, so you thus receive a better security package.
  • The combined service offering includes 24×7 proactive patrol vehicles, each manned by two highly trained personnel able to deal with untoward situations. Their activities and services include:
  • Looking out for any suspicious activity, or people loitering within the area;
  • Questioning any person regarded as suspicious;
  • Looking out for and stopping any persons littering any public space area;
  • Checking construction sites after hours to ensure there is no one sleeping there without the required permission;
  • River patrols;
  • Unlimited use of the meet and greet service by subscribers;
  • Medical response
PSS-only 
(Public Space Security) – incl VAT
PSS & Home Security(Armed Response) – incl VAT
R393.68 R703.68

Note that the above rates will be increased with an inflation adjustment from ! November 2017. Same as with the PARKSEC approach, residents cannot acquire AR from Cortac if they are not PSS contributors.

Have you got questions? We answer them here.

Following here are a number of Frequently Asked Questions which hope to answer all your own questions.  If you are still unsure, please drop us an e-mail to lynn@safeparks.joburg with your questions.

 Should I sign up?

  • You are almost certainly already paying a home security provider. By joining the SafeParks / Parksec scheme and switching to Cortac you will improve the scheme’s total revenue. This will then directly translate into additional proactive security measures. Your money will be deployed on a cost plus basis whereby the residents association has direct oversight of how it is spent.


What is your Safeparks/ Parksec security project about?

  • Implementing an effective solution requires two things to happen. First, someone needs to design and run the scheme. Second, residents need to support the scheme. The first point is unpacked below.
  • Someone to design and run the scheme
  • This is where it became complicated. Until recently there have been two separate organisations attempting to administer public space security schemes in Parkhurst, namely SafeParks and Parksec. SafeParks used CSS Tactical as its security provider while Parksec used Cortac. Both organisations had the same goal and believed in the same solution. Working separately did not make sense, and with this in mind SafeParks and Parksec agreed to a partnership.
  • Cortac was chosen as the preferred provider for the suburb. This was a purely pragmatic choice; Cortac had roughly twice as many clients as CSS in Parkhurst.
  • The current scheme covers both Parkhurst and Parktown North. We are satisfied that this is a sensible approach as it provides economies of scale and the suburbs share a common border. Improving the security of Parktown North inherently improves the security of Parkhurst as it helps to lock down a potential entrance and escape route for criminals. 

How does your pricing model work?

  • The contract with Cortac is NOT limited to simply responding to alarms and calls at residents homes. Two man vehicles are deployed and specifically instructed to monitor suspicious activity on the streets and other public spaces. This is the critical first step to securing our public spaces.
  • The pricing model chosen is a cost plus model. We have a signed agreement with Cortac where they provide certain services at agreed prices. For example, there is an agreed price for a two man 24 hour vehicle, an agreed price for control room overheads etc. These prices include a suitable margin for Cortac.
  • All monies collected are used to purchase these services from Cortac. If there is a surplus but the surplus is insufficient to purchase an additional vehicle or required service, this is ring fenced and builds up. It is not simply given to Cortac as an additional profit. Decisions on the purchase of services and how to use any surplus funds are decided by the joint SafeParks / Parksec committee. This committee consists of residents of Parkhurst and Parktown North and operates on a volunteer basis. None of the members are remunerated for their work, their sole incentive is to achieve improved security in the suburbs where they live.
  • The model has been priced such that we will get an additional two man 24 hour patrol vehicle for approximately every additional 300 Parkhurst households that subscribe to the combined package.

 

Why should I sign up?

  • You are almost certainly already paying a home security provider. By joining the SafeParks / Parksec scheme and switching to Cortac you will improve the scheme’s total revenue. This will then directly translate into additional proactive security measures. Your money will be deployed on a cost plus basis whereby the residents association has direct oversight of how it is spent.

 

What will this cost me and where will my money go?

 

  • Monthly subscriptions are divided into two parts – a Public Space Security (PSS) contribution and an Armed Response (AR) contribution. The PSS debit order goes to SafeParks and the agreed fee is then paid to Cortac. The AR debit order goes directly to Cortac. While this may seem unnecessarily complicated, having the PSS debit orders payable to SafeParks gives us, as residents, control of the scheme. Should we need to terminate Cortac’s services at some point in the future, we are able to move the combined PSS contributions to a new provider. The power lies with the residents, not the security provider.
  • For new subscribers, the PSS contribution is R393.68 (which includes a discounted R25 PRABOA membership fee) and the AR contribution is R310.00 giving a total contribution of R703.68 per month, to be increased in November 2017. While it is possible to purchase the PSS portion on a stand-alone basis and to purchase your home armed response from another provider, it is not possible to only purchase the AR portion on its own.

 

Why was the contract with CSS terminated?

 

  • The original PSS security plan devised by SafeParks was based on assumptions of a certain level of resident support, which was also compared to resident support ratios of other surrounding community security initiatives. This support did not materialise. To put numbers to this, Parkhurst is a suburb of around 2,200 households. Only about 270 of these subscribed to the full package with CSS (public space and armed response) and a further approximately  100 subscribed to the public space security scheme. In financial terms, this averages to about a 15% take up rate. The scheme was not viable at this level of support and it was not showing any significant growth i.e. it was not going to achieve a viable size in the foreseeable future and therefore it would have faced growing resistance of the community.
    • We essentially had 3 options:
    • Terminating the PSS scheme – and then we all could face the increase in crime
    • Substantially increase the monthly pricing of the PSS scheme to make it financially viable
    • Partner with Parksec and to get critical mass

 

What about cameras?

  •  We are currently investigating a range of potential camera solutions. It is important to note that blanket camera coverage will not magically remove all crime from our suburb. They are rather another part of a holistic solution which should ultimately include vehicles, cameras and alert residents; and it needs more subscribors to be able to roll out a camera solution. In the interim, Cortac are able to provide cameras on a street by street basis.

 

Why did SafeParks and Parksec decide to form a partnership?

 

  • Both SafeParks and Parksec have the same overall goal: to enhance the security of the residents and businesses in their area. The primary difference is location; SafeParks is purely focussed on Parkhurst whilst Parksec covers predominantly Parkhurst but also Parktown North.
  • We both agreed that a suburb will be stronger if united. Having two rival organisations competing reduces this unity and is detrimental to the suburb’s overall security position as it creates confusion with residents, resulting in less focus on the primary objective of enhanced security. The united security solution leads to substantial cost savings, which resulted in the new scheme being able to operate from day one with a marginal surplus, which can be applied towards additional security solutions over time, including the much-hyped camera solutions.
  • The security of our suburb must take precedence over individual egos, grudges, legacy differences of opinion, etc.
  • We are convinced that over time we will benefit from this unified approach in the suburb. We all should now strive to ensure that we gain further support from those residents who do not contribute to this very important PSS security imitative, and potentially also support the Armed Response services from service providers such as Cortac and CSS who make a real contribution to crime prevention

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In order for this scheme to be fulfilled, a commitment to the initiative needs to be shown by Parkhurst residents to the value of R250,000 per month.

Contributor Map

The map below shows the houses that have signed up and committed to the SafeParks Public Space Security initiative.  If your address is not marked on this map, and you have signed up, please e-mail us with your street address.

Sign Ups