Wheelie bins marked to prevent theft

Rocklands Community Neighbourhood Watch members are marking residents’ wheelie bins and creating a digital network.

Rocklands Community Neighbourhood Watch (RCNW) members are marking residents’ wheelie bins with their household details and encrypting the owners’ information on a digital database.

They started branding bins on Sunday October 18 in response to an increase of bin theft reported at Mitchell’s Plain police station.

Valerie Moses, controller for the watch, said often the theft of wheelie bins was linked to other crime.

“Criminals will store stolen goods and move it around as they collect scrap which may not ordinarily just be handed to them,” she said.

Mitchell’s Plain station commander Brigadier Cass Goolam released a statement on Monday October 12, saying theft of municipal bins was on the increase.

“We needed to alert the community to this and it is estimated that replacing these bins could run into millions of rands.

“The theft of dirt bins continues to be a concern for our community and we want to advise people,” he said.

Brigadier Goolam said all dirt bins were council property; to be used for the storage of dirt at a particular residence or business premises; that residents should only put their bins out on respective dirt collection days; bins must never be used to transport or cart goods; and that people found in possession of a dirt bit being used for anything other than its intended purpose can face criminal prosecution and be charged for theft and possession of suspected stolen property.

RCNW has partnered Simplyonline for their Simply Sticker Campaign in Mitchell’s Plain in order to digitise the area, starting with Rocklands as a community.

The online company provides the stickers valued at R130 to the community neighbourhood watch for free, who then distribute it to residents.

Chief executive officer Kiran Valjee said the stickers were installed on wheelie bins to combat the recent escalation in theft of these bins.

The stickers have a minimum lifespan of three years, have added UV (ultraviolet) protection and a laminate coating to ensure that minimum quality requirements were met.

He said the highly visible stickers display the residents’ street name, house number and a unique QR (quick response) code that allows for digital engagement by participating residents.

It allows neighbourhood watch members to communicate with every participating resident through a populated database regardless of their location.

“Communities are reunited through this digital platform, re-establishing family values and allowing RCNW to reach the masses with fingertip access in real time. Local businesses are also connected to the communities thereby ensuring that local businesses are supported,” Mr Valjee said.

A percentage of generated revenue is donated to the neighbourhood watch every month.

The platform can also be used to connect corporates and participating communities to bursaries, jobs and many other benefits.

As part of the campaign residents receive pop- up alerts on their smartphones after having downloaded and signed up to the free Simplyshop app.

These pop ups are non-invasive and users can decide whether to keep it switched on.

It offers safety alerts, broadcasts and other relevant communication to the community.

A pop up will appear on an individual’s smartphone when they come into Rocklands and connect to Bluetooth technology.