News / South Africa / Local News

Allan Troskie
2 minute read
25 Aug 2017
11:40 am

Farmers unite against attacks

Allan Troskie

This is to ensure rural farmers improve their safety too.

Farmers gathered to discuss the way forward in preventing violent attacks.

The brutal murder of 84-year-old Bob Gawler at his home in Glendale Heights last month sent shockwaves through the farming community, with many feeling it is now time to take decisive action, North Coast Courier reports.

Dozens of local farmers, Farmwatch, Umhlali police representatives and members of Alpha Security met at the Litchi Orchard to discuss improving rural safety.

Farmers were from Umhlali to Upper Tongaat and Glendale.

Volunteers came forward to revive the former cell system, where farmers divided themselves into cell groups that stood ready to support one another in the event of an attack or break-in.

“Dogs alone provide a false sense of security for farmers. Just look at Bob’s dogs – they were completely traumatised by that attack. The criminals know how to deal with dogs,” said Alpha Security’s Rex Hunt.

The possibility of acquiring digital radios with panic buttons was also discussed. The panic buttons would set off an alarm on all the other radios in the group and – importantly – for the next 10 seconds everyone would be able to listen in on what was happening.

READ MORE: Black community members march against slaughter of white farmers

Rex Hunt and captain Vinny Pillay listen to the farmers’ concerns.

Rex Hunt and captain Vinny Pillay listen to the farmers’ concerns.

“We need better channels of communication between farmers, security companies and the police – we all need to stand together to end the plague of violent attacks on farmers and farmworkers, but for this to work we need the buy-in from everyone.”

Umhlali police’s Captain Vinny Pillay urged farmers to report all suspicious activity, theft, attacks and so on to the police.

“We know it can be trying sometimes, but if you do not report all these incidents the police have no way of identifying problem areas so we can allocate more resources,” he said.

Aside from the radios, the possibility of camera systems, the use of WhatsApp groups, partnership between police and farmers, alarms and more were discussed as the farmers sought a way to ensure the safety of all in the farming community.

As Hunt said: “If you do not take steps to protect yourself, there is not much police or security companies can do for you.”

READ MORE

Black community members march against slaughter of white farmers

– Caxton News Service

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