Neighbourhood watch

#144. Monitor our growing obsession with security. In a city not unaccustomed to random and not so random encounters with threats to personal safety and security Joburgers are developing their own creative take on the issue.

A few weeks ago a friend* emailed me this:

Trolley Protection cover

“Dear South African Shopper. Have you been a victim of crime in a Shopping Centre? In July 2009 alone, there were 29 robberies in Shopping Centres alone in SA.

Take a pro-active approach and protect yourself against being a victim of shopping centre crime. DON’T let what happened to my Mom and my Wife happen to YOU. They were both mugged and beaten up at Centurion Shopping Centre, EVERYTHING they owned was stolen from them. “Safe ‘n Dry” has just launched a product to protect what is yours – A supermarket “trolley protection cover”.

Following closely behind that mail came another one from that clever little newsletter The Hummingbird telling of a new innovation that takes the “shock” out of this city’s ubiquitous electric fences — Green Grass’s “birdies on a fence”.

Green Grass designs came up with these perspex birdies in response to the style challenges posed by electric fences  – “The electric fences, burglar bars and beams we use to keep us safe introduce a harsh jail-like quality to our homes. Every day I struggled aesthetically with encroaching ugliness. In contrast something I have always loved is the sight of a jaunty flock of birds lined up on a telephone wire or a rustic fence.” Green Grass sells the birdies in flocks of 18 to 20.

"Birdies on a fence"

"Birdies on a fence"

If only the police force was so creative — perhaps there is an option of developing a police car protection cover complete with perspex birdies as the ultimate camouflaged surveillance vehicle for Joburg’s leafiest suburbs? Minister Nathi Mthethwa – are you listening?

* Thanks BK.

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