There have been quite a few reports recently of guys cars getting broken into or tampered with whilst they're out surfing. Fence, Millers and Pipe seem to be the hot-spots at the moment.
Etienne Potgieter, a Fence local, says he's noticed the last few times when he gets back from his surf it looks like someone's been fiddling with his surf-lock. No doubt hoping to strike the lucky combination that'll get them access to ET's keys...and hence his car.
A coupla months back Amba's boyfriend, had his car stolen from the Pipe car park. That has to be a super-kak feeling to walk back to where you know you left your car - and all that's staring back at you is an empty parking spot!
The lurkers have also been pretty active at Millers car park, with quite a few smash and grabs there over the last 4 months. Laptops, wallets, cell phones...whatever they could grab and run off with. Big Phil had his bakkie stolen from there a while back.
The question is.....why should we have to worry about our vehicle's safety every time we hit the water?
Durban seems to have it right. You can park your car safety anywhere in the North Beach, Durban Surf and New Pier parking lots. This area is patrolled by ‘The Guardian Angels’ who are a crew of well-known and organized car guards. These guys are so trusted that most local surfers would rather leave their keys with them than chance the old key-on-the-tyre trick.
So what are the chances of trying to get something like this working in PE?
There're a coupla challenges admittedly in replicating the Durban system. First and foremost is that our surf is fairly fickle - which means that the car parks at Pipe, Fence and Millers aren't going to be fill every day of the week. Durbs is blessed with warm water and pretty consistent surf, which means the guys are in the water most days - which makes it worth it for the car guards as they know they'll get good bucks there most days.
Pipe has a pretty regular car guard. But there's some debate amongst Pipe surfers as to how on the ball he is, seeing as a car got stolen from the car park whilst he was there. Flip side of the coin is always if someone threatens to bust your leg if you bust them, well, who's to argue?
As a surfing community we really need to make the effort to find some decent car guards and get them to police the car parks regularly. That way the locals get to know and trust them, and they can earn some bucks by making sure the guys cars are safe. Everyone wins.
Etienne has been to the Humewood police station to ask them to beef up their patrols along the beach front, but as a surfing community we also need to support our requests with some facts. It'd be a good start to know how many break-in's etc there've been at the car parks over the last 6 months.
So if you've had anyone bugger around with your car, or know of someone else who's had a problem, then drop a comment to the blog post just saying which car park and what happened. That way we can at least get the police a bit of a list about recent incidents to support our request for increased patrols.
Also, if anyone has some idea's as to how we can try get some regular trustworthy car guards at our surf spots - please leave a comment.