What is a radio network?
A radio network functions like an old fashioned “walkie talkie” where individuals are connected on the same frequency. It is simple to use, you press one button, talk, and the whole radio network hears you.
Why a radio? We all have cellphones and panic buttons
There is absolutely nothing wrong with a cellphone if everything functions well. On a cellphone, you first have to find a number you want to dial, you hopefully have a connection and then you hope that that person responds to your call.
On the radio network, you pick up the device, press one button, and the whole radio network as well as two security companies hear you. You immediately have a bunch of dedicated people as well as the security company coming to your aid, aware of where you are, one could call the police, one could be outside your house, etc etc
A panic button is important and should still be used in emergencies—but all it does is make a loud sound and informs your security company that there is a problem—hence only one person, the controller, in a distant office, knows of the problem.
I’m scared of new technology
A radio is hardly new technology—they were used in World War II. It’s old proven technology. There are a number of people, already on the network, in their 70s and everyone is doing just fine.
How does this assist pro-active crime prevention?
It is easier to report suspicious activities via the radio than on a cell phone. On radio, there is an audience in the area at any time. It is easy to shut down a street or close off an area if 10 people are mobilised. This response can be developed further. Once the criminals are aware of our mobilisation, we could minimise crime in the area.
We, as residents, become the eyes and ears for the security services, while they do the real crime fighting work.
Is the radio going to run my life?
This is totally up to you and how available you wish to be. When you are available, you can participate, if you’re not available—no problem. Generally, members do keep their radios on at night in order to assist should the need arise or at least be aware. Many of our members work from home and are listening for any disturbance through the day.
There is a daily radio call at 20:00 where everyone who is near their radio, is called to respond. This is standard practise adopted from other areas that use this scheme, and the aim is to know that we are all still there, to get to know each other’s voices, as well as to practise the use of your radio. Yet again, if you’re home for the radio call—participate—if you’re not, then don’t.
What does it cost and what do I get?
The total upfront package costs is R 2.290 and includes:
- A good quality Two-wayradio (Kirisun PT 2600) ( R1.330) *)
- 1 Year’s ICASA license fee, repeater rental, and use of the frequency (R 660) *)
- 1 Years MHSI contribution (R 300)*)
- A MHSI Membership plate
Please note that there is an annual renewal fee of the MHSI Contribution, ICASA Fee as well as repeater rental that amounts to approximately R 960.
Is it really worth it—and what is a “repeater”?
Well, let’s set aside the radio cost of R 1,330,- for now. You basically have a network of fellow residents and security companies to come to your aid, or to prevent crime and make our neighbourhood safe, a cost of approximately R80 per month if you convert the annual cost to a monthly amount.
A repeater is a device that is placed on a high location somewhere and collects the signals of all radios. Our repeater is provided on a rental basis from Interactive Security Services.
I want a radio
Once you decide that you would like a radio, please follow these steps:
- Pay the required amount into the MHSI bank account, use as referenceyour street address (EG: “122 Berea Str)
- Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with
- Name + Surname
- House Address
- Purpose of payment
- Telephone number where you can be reached
- The proof of payment that you made
- As your email is received and the money is reflected in our account, a radio is ordered (usually takes a few days).
- When the radio arrives, someone from MHSI will make an appointment to see you, hand over the radio and explain how it all works
*) Prices April 2019