Our estate experienced the first 'home invasion' this week. The victim was my neighbor, a single woman with a little girl. I will not go into details, suffice to say it was extremely unpleasant and terrifying for them. We are all so grateful she and her daughter escaped unharmed.
After 7 years we have put locks on all our doors. And we have many, many doors. I am now like the key master...we only lock 'the big locks' at night otherwise we would be prisoners in our own home. The estate is still safe during the day as there is so much activity. I will not put bars or gates on my home.
The first 3 nights after the attack I slept with all my kids in my room. I was extremely freaked out - the thought of having intruders downstairs and trying to figure out how I would reach my kids all over the upstairs area of my house just made me mental. I needed time to recover and regroup and until then the sprogs stayed where I could see them! I still didnt sleep but at least I knew they were safe with me.
Due to increasing dissatisfaction within the Estate regarding communication around the incident I decided to hold a 'pop-up' security meeting in our cul de sac on Saturday afternoon. People are tired of the Trustees not communicating timeously or having endless meetings with no communicated progress.
The tone of the meeting was informal. I felt people needed a space to vocalise their concerns and their solutions. They needed to feel that they could make a difference - in a sense - to take power back into our own hands as oppose to expecting a 'security company' to take care of us.
The incident has generated a huge wake-up call. People now are getting to know their neighbours - talking to each other. A facebook page is up and running and a real sense of community is developing; especially in our street.
The incident was horrific but we are going to make sure that some positive comes out of the pain.