29 Oct Making a difference to a community IN NEED
Safire has been assisting farmers since it started out as an innovative insurance co-op way back in 1987. It continues to assist those in need, and Safire Crop Protection Co-operative is proud to been part of the ‘G911 – Umvoti Community for Law & Order’ programme, started two years ago, that focuses on enhancing the safety and security of the Greytown / Umvoti Municipality community. This initial support at the start-up phase of the programme was invaluable until it could become self-funding and meant that a full-time manager could be appointed to drive the project, which was undoubtedly a key factor of its success.
The programme has achieved the following:
- The setting up of an ops-room and licence plate recognition (LPR) cameras at 11 sites, with additional access to 75 cameras within neighbouring areas. There is also access to the national camera system when needed. The information from the LPR cameras is fed to a local reaction team in Greytown. This system has resulted in many vehicles being impounded, firearms and other stolen property recovered, and the arrest of suspects and criminals involved in farm attacks.
- The establishment of patrols for various zones in the area.
- A drone has been purchased and has already been used at crime scenes and in planning security operations. In addition, Polygraphs (Truthfinders) have been used throughout the district with a high level of success and several criminal cases have been solved.
- Self-defence courses have been arranged for community members, in addition to security assessments of members’ properties.
- Significant improvement in communications between the local taxi association, security companies, zone leaders, neighbouring Farmers Associations, and security and high-level SAPS personnel. During the July unrest, the situation was handled professionally by the G911 team and resulted in a response that included SAPS, private security companies, G911 members and the local taxi industry.
Ruth Bezuidenhout, GM at Safire Crop Protection Co-operative, says, “Interacting with our clients and their communities is important to us. Our ongoing and familiar relationships with people are what set us apart as an insurer. Safire Company’s branding is based on successful symbiotic interaction between living creatures in nature, and this programme is an example of how we can all benefit by working together. By assisting the G911 team from the beginning, we supported them in their drive to create a more secure, safe, low-risk community. And with Safire Crop offering various specialist crop products and Safire Insurance providing cover for all our clients’ short-term insurance needs, it makes sense to assist with building and protecting these communities.”
The G911 programme is such as success that it is being used as a study in community security for other communities to follow. “We are not going to stop here and have more exciting plans for where we need to go as an organisation,” says Ian Hill, one of the directors of the G911 programme. Safire Crop Protection Co-operative has also sponsored the local Umvoti Bass Fishing and Golf Day Competitions for several years which also raise funds for this great public service.