INTRODUCTION TO THE UUST
The Upper Umhlanga Security Trust, or UUST, is a voluntary, community driven organisation that strives to improve the quality of life and property values of all who live and work in the Upper Umhlanga area. This is achieved through pro-active security measures, by addressing degradation of our local environment and by galvanising the community into action.
The Trust’s operational area extends from Herald Drive in the north, to Umhlanga Rocks Drive in the south and from the M4 in the east, to Herrwoord Drive in the west.
HOW DID THE TRUST COME ABOUT?
In 2013 Upper Umhlanga was looking down on its’ heels and it was in the grips of an unprecedented crime wave. Nightly property intrusions were commonplace, despite most residents having an armed reaction service and this culminated in a murder that finally prompted the Upper Umhlanga Community to take ownership of the situation it found itself in.
A public meeting was held and a working committee emerged that became formally constituted as a Trust in May 2014. Then in December 2015, the Trust was granted Public Benefit Organisation status in terms of Section 18(A) of the Income Tax Act.
It soon became apparent that the existing security companies were operating in their own silos, that they were reacting to crime after the event, that we had no cohesive effort as a community to address the situation and that the area was looking unloved and therefore more attractive to criminals than adjacent, well managed areas. In fact, a statistic at the time revealed that armed reaction was leading to the arrest of a suspect in less than 0.01% of armed response activations.
The Trust therefore resolved as follows:
- To be proactive rather than reactive in its approach to security.
- To add an additional layer of security by taking control of the open spaces between dwellings
- To co-ordinate the efforts of existing armed reaction services
- To develop functional relations with; the SAP, the CPF , security initiatives in adjacent areas and with the various security companies in the area
- To nurture a strong sense of community in the area
- To develop various communication platforms including a private App
- To encourage residents to get to know one another and to participate in community events
- To improve the physical environment
- To remove alien weed infested areas
- To clean up unkempt hiding places for criminals and vagrants
- To beautify key nodes in the community
- To collect litter
- To co-ordinate the reporting of municipal failures
- To engage and develop relations with municipal service teams
- To address traffic issues
A good security strategy is to install layers of proactive, security protection that criminals will have to penetrate to ultimately get to you – the more layers the better you are protected. UUST provides this at a macro level by liaising closely with adjacent security initiatives that act as secure buffer zones to our community, by co-ordinating security operations within the open space fabric of our community, by co-ordinating the efforts of all security assets in our area including private armed response personnel, by providing community communication networks and by developing functional, working relations with the SAP.
It is critical that you compliment this strategy and employ further layers of security within your private properties. Working from the outside in; this may include electric perimeter fencing, access gate protection devices, security cameras, garden beams, security lighting, burglar bars, home alarm systems, keeping dogs inside at night and finally; securing your bedroom area.
The UUST’s strategy is proactive and preventative rather than reactive. UUST does not, and has never purported to provide a 24hr armed response service – private armed response is a critical component of your security however and is highly recommended.
It is well documented that a clean and well managed environment where bye-laws are actively enforced, is less conducive to criminal activity. The success of the ‘Broken Window Theory’ deployed by Mayor Rudy Giuliani, in New York, in the 80s, was a good example of this. The UUST applies these same principles and actively works towards a well managed, clean and green environment.
Communication is also a cornerstone of the UUST strategy. Each and every one of us becomes a security asset in our own right if we are alert to the goings on in our neighbourhood and we communicate this with one another. UUST has developed a bespoke cell phone App for members, to facilitate this.
We know that crime is an ever present danger in our country – especially with the huge discrepancies of wealth; however, the success of our strategy is borne out by the remarkable statistical improvement in crime in the area which was reduced from 86 incidents in 2014 to just 13 incidents in 2016.
The Trust is governed by a Board of Trustees who are elected by the community at an AGM held before the end of June in each calendar year. It must be remembered, that the Trustees are voluntary members of the Upper Umhlanga Community who give freely of their time and energy and who operate within the constraints of limited time and resources.
The UUST has its own security office located at 45 Hilken Drive, Herrwood Park, Umhlanga.
The Trust is professionally audited annually and all finances are managed through an independent agency.
Independent service providers are engaged to provide essential services to fulfil our strategic objectives and these include Security, Cleaning and Greening and Communication services.
WHY JOIN UUST?
- Together we win; individually we fail!
- The UUST is funded solely by its members and the more funds it has at its disposal the more it can do for our community
- Our activities enhance our lifestyles and protect our investment in the area
- The monthly contribution is a nominal R 350 – a paltry amount when stacked up against the value of you and your loved-ones lives
- The UUST has been registered as a Public Benefit Organisation (PBO). This means that you can claim your contributions as a tax deduction.
- Non participants, who live outside of our UUST community and communication networks, are weak links in our security fabric.
- We live in a country whose policing services are not able to adequately protect us. We must accept this fact, adapt and take responsibility for our own safety.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
- Join up and become a part of the solution!
- Get involved, be positive and supportive – this is your UUST.
- Speak to your neighbours and other residents in the area and encourage them to join up too.
HOW TO JOIN
Simply contact us on any of the channels listed below and we will make it happen for you.
Chairman – Les Welch – firstname.lastname@example.org
Security – Hayden Conradie – email@example.com (Emergencies: 082 891 8014)
Cleaning and Greening – Praveshni Harkhu
Marketing Communications and General Enquiries: Les Welch – firstname.lastname@example.org
Contributions can be made monthly or annually and if you need to resign it’s nothing more than a short email to us that is required.
Below please find a QR code link to the UUST App
SECURITY- ENVIRONMENT- COMMUNITY