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 Post subject: 3 Strikes...Your'e out!
Unread postPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2008 6:42 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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I think that this section of the forum is very inspiring....

So I did some thinking too.

(Mods: please feel free to relocate this post if necessary, it probably is in the wrong place)

We are all well aware of problem visitors....I have no doubt that such people break the rules and generally offend other visitors while doing so more than once during their time in the park.

As already exists, people can and should report offenders via the dedicated phone number. As many details as possible should be given. The offenders must then be warned, or fined if possible. This is already in place I think.

I propose the following: If a particular group is reported for bad behaviour, they are issued with a warning on the first occasion or a fine if possible (this all depends on whether it can be proved and how serious the offence is) - This must go into a databse of offenders with wild card numbers, ID numbers etc... if a second complaint is received a final warning and fine if possible is issued. If there is a third complaint about the same group, whether it be in one day(entirely possible) or in 3 years, the entire group of visitors are then banned from all SANParks and banned from having wild cards. Since ID numbers are required to have wild cards...the ID numbers should be kept on a database as well.

Conversely, it is easy to tell which visitors are in good standing with SANParks, firstly, we should be allowed to feel safe in reporting offenders, with the assurance that our details will remain private. Secondly, our names are linked to client codes, a quick check into our client code should reveal how long we have been visiting the parks. The older the client code, the more likely it is that the visitor it corresponds to is a regular visitor with a sincere love for and interest in the wellbeing of the park and their reports should be given more credibilty, though a brand new visitor should not be ignored. Also, it is important that certain checks and balances are in place to ensure that this is not abused. Excessive reporting (what is excessive??? :lol: ) will have to be weeded out.

I know that there are holes in the ideas but this is a start...I also feel that a publicity campaign ie: publishing notices of recent bannings and fines near every sightings board in the Park would instill respect in some and would embolden the majority of visitors to report transgressions and TAKE BACK OUR PARK!

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Last edited by Bushmad on Sat Jun 21, 2008 9:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2008 8:41 pm 
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Legendary Virtual Ranger
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Nice idea Bushmad, but I am sure it won't get much official airtime.

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Unread postPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2008 9:05 pm 
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Hi BB! I have the same feeling as you...no doubt there are all sorts of bureaucratic issues here...but I think with enough support - which can be gauged here - it can actually be done.

Where there is a will, there is a way, and since this would ultimately rest with SAN Parks, I think they need to show a strong commitment to changing the behaviour on the ground.

My mind turns to a well known sms (text message) crime fighting line started by a certain media company here in SA which has been working exceedingly well, incorporating the SAPS and even being joined by a HUGE competitor, the SABC. If they can do it.....using the pre-existing reporting line in KNP cant be that difficult. The big issue would be introducing the new rule....what are the processes that need to be followed?? KNPSM?

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Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2008 11:14 am 
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I have suggested the 3 stikes and you're out a few times on this forum and I'm glad someone has taken the idea further.
As to the client code :lol: :lol: Everytime I phone Sanparks and quote the number I get a surprised comment alnog the lines; "You've been coming here THAT long! " So that idea is feasible! And connecting offences to ID or wild cards or both is surely possible with todays computer systems. Great Suggestion Bush mad :clap: :clap:

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Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2008 11:51 am 
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Thanks PJW.

I think the first step is to use this thread to build a base of support from the forum community....then to approach SANParks and say "the forum wants this seriously considered AND we dont want it to simply diasappear into committee meeting agendas, we want to be involved."

This could be a way to have the Wild Card system really become useful...when you apply for a wild card you give your name, address, id number, phone number etc.. AND it records the exact times and dates that you swipe your card when booking in..which proves your presence in the park and also records your car registration and details. This can be cross checked with client codes should you have one. In fact, I think that Infinity should be roped in to sponsor a small call centre with a couple of computers. It need only be a room with 2 or three computers and phones being manned by trained staff. The systems already exist, think about when you phone your security company, you give your name and in seconds they have all your details on the screen...so, give a car registration and details and the offender's details will appear on the screen too.

The address and phone number will make sending letters and even making a polite warning phone call easy: imagine you report someone for walking around at a sighting ASAP, then shortly after that, their cell phone rings and it is a Parks official saying, please stay in your car (Big Bateleur is Watching). Also, family cards and couple cards require the ID numbers and details of everyone on that card...so visiting groups are recorded on one card....everyone connected to the card of the offender will be held responsible and all their Identities will be "blacklisted" (except for minors who can't be primary card holders anyway).

The listing could merely be an attachment to your client profile...when they ask for your client code, your details come up, merely add a further detail in RED if they have been warned and how many times. Should they try opening a new client code, the ID is still required and check mate!

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2008 7:15 am 
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I think that it is a very good idea.
:clap: :clap: :clap:

I believe one of the reasons why the grumbles on the forum became so numerous, is that people feel helpless about the situation. This gives everyone the possibility of being involved. It also highlights accountability.

If I look at the success of the "crime line" initiative that started a year ago with a similar call in system, I cannot see how it could fail.

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Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2008 8:27 am 
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then shortly after that, their cell phone rings and it is a Parks official saying, please stay in your car (Big Bateleur is Watching).
:funny: :clap:

@BM your idea would be great if resources can be made available.

How about rewarding good behaviour?

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Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2008 8:16 pm 
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Thanks MM and Rusky...(by the way Rusky, your trip report was refreshing, brilliant, funny etc... thats definitely a converted try for the Aussies...... :lol: )

MM, I agree, if the SMS line works, involving organs of State (SAPS) and big media companies....and exposure to millions of people....then this should be a walk in the Park... :lol:

Rusky, I think resources would be readily available, all it takes is the will to do so...firstly SANParks is by no means a charity organisation and has thankfully been doing very well....however, Infinity (company that issues wild cards and makes big money doing so) can EASILY afford the start up cost and with all the business they get from SANParks visitors...they actually owe it to KNP to make this contribution.

I also like your idea of rewarding good behaviour....I mean that is the way dog training has been going these days....and what about us good doggies??

Seriously though, you have a point, perhaps long standing regulars, and all those who report responsibly, who give helpful and constructive feedback to SANParks etc...could be rewarded with 1.) Bonus rewards on their Wild Card 2.) A mere thank you note from KNP in appreciation of their support and loyalty 3.) A free activity?? - Personally, I think the GREATEST REWARD would be taking reports seriously and acting on them immediately....resulting in a well controlled Park, and a sense of empowerment for those who have felt dejected and helpless in the face of flagrant disregard for the wilderness and it's inhabitants.

I also officially offer my help in drafting the potential new rule and giving carfeul consideration to any legal consequences there might be and dealing with all the finer points as a first draft, to assist those at SANParks with a headstart.

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Unread postPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2008 6:18 pm 
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I have just sent an email with the following rough proposal as an attachment to Mr. William Mabasa, KNPSM, Dr. David Mabunda and two others from head office.

I'd just like to see their opinions on this idea and to draw it to their attention:

The attachment reads as follows:

“3 Strikes – You’re Out”
Proposal for SANParks Law Enforcement


Problem:

Society is increasingly plagued by a disrespectful and selfish mentality among rule breakers in general. Such rule breaking may be rooted in ignorance and or selfishness coupled with arrogant disregard for others and the environment.

Unfortunately, despite the SANParks Law Enforcement’s best efforts, this scourge is increasingly being encountered in our National Parks.

Speeding, littering and rowdiness in protected areas is something that has always been a challenge for the Park authorities to deal with; however it is becoming increasingly difficult to tackle as more visitors fill our Parks.

Possible Solution:

SANParks can turn the thousands of loyal and law abiding visitors who love and appreciate our wilderness areas into the eyes and ears of its law enforcement branch.

In the Kruger National Park for example, SANParks already has a reporting line in place, which is proving to be very successful. This proposal merely aims to make better and more structured use of that existing facility.

The basis of this proposal is that visitors to the Kruger National Park can report bad behaviour via this phone in line (as is already the case) but in addition, that this information is placed on a database of offenders. Once the same offender has been reported for bad behaviour on three separate occasions, the Park’s authorities will automatically ban the parties concerned from all SANParks and or issue a fine.

This would result in problem visitors being rooted out permanently and would also have the effect of educating new comers and instilling respect and decorum among all visitors…creating a well controlled protected area.

Benefits:

• Maximum coverage for law enforcement
• Greatly reduce speeding, littering and rowdiness
• Visitors will feel empowered = fewer complaints


Implementation:

Under Californian Law, the “3 Strikes” principle is successfully applied. This formula is ideally suited to South African National Parks.

The existing computer systems in place at SANParks are already well equipped to handle the proposal set out below.

The Proposed New Regulation could be structured as follows:

• All existing rules and regulations apply.

• All calls to the call centre are first verified. (This means that the caller gives their details (which will remain private), the operator will then check the system for the presence of such a visitor within the Park at the time the incident occurred. Also, client codes will reveal the length of time that the caller has been a client of SANParks, a car registration number will link to the Wild Card recording at the gate entry etc..)

• A first offence will result in either a fine or a letter of warning or a phone call of warning or all three. ( car registration and details are recorded via the Wild Card on entering a Park, therefore, a mere car registration will allow access to names, ID numbers, telephone numbers and address of the holder) The report is recorded against the client code and or Wild Card number of the visitor for future reference and remains in place for a period of three years.

• A second offence will result in a fine, or final written warning or both. This report is again recorded as above.

• A third report will result in a fine or 5 year ban on the transgressor. This is recorded against the ID number and client code of the individual concerned on a database. (Should the transgressor/s apply for a new client code or new Wild Card, the ID number is still required and this will indicate on the system that the applicant is banned)

• The SANParks law enforcement will exercise their discretion at all times.

Viability:

• The client databases already exist and contain all relevant details within the SANParks computer system.

• The concept of calling the call centre to report rule breakers is already in operation in the KNP.

• The Wild Card system contains up to date details of all card holders and records their entry and exit times at gates, proving their presence in a particular region of the Park. Vehicle registration numbers and details are recorded on entry.

• The call centre need only be a small office with two computers (during busy periods) and the lines will be manned by existing staff who take calls on the existing line.

• Infinity, the company responsible for the Wild Card system could easily provide the funds needed for setting up the call centre and training the staff. They need to show that they are giving something back through corporate responsibility as visitors see them as enjoying a very lucrative deal in a captive market.

• All necessary information will be at the fingertips of the operator, with the same ease that exists in the bookings system.

• By ensuring that all calls are first verified whilst ensuring confidentiality, it will be possible to record whether a visitor is abusing the system by excessive reporting. Vindictive false reports will be eliminated requiring the details of the caller.

• The system can be implemented with relative ease and at minimal cost.

• The well known Crime Line initiative, involving 702 Talk Radio, the SABC, and the SAPS which involves an anonymous SMS reporting facility has proven to a be great success. If this much more complicated initiative can work, then the one proposed above is certain to work.

Practical Example:
A visitor to the KNP witnesses bad behaviour from another visitor – Instead of feeling helpless and complaining about a lack of control from SANParks, the visitor calls the existing reporting number – briefly gives their name which is then verified by the operator and then gives details about what they have witnessed. They include car registration and details as well as location and time.

The operator types in the car registration and instantly has the name, address and phone number of the offender. The operator can then phone a cell number immediately (if available) and politely warn the alleged transgressor, or a letter of warning can be sent to their home address.

This is then recorded on the database together with the person’s existing details and remains on the system.

Should this happen again, the operator will see that a previous report has been made.

The result is efficient and effective law enforcement. Repeat offenders are ultimately rooted out.

In effect, this proposal is merely a proposal for the adoption of the 3 Strikes You’re Out rule, and the improved efficiency and effectiveness of the existing reporting line.

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 Post subject: Re: 3 Strikes...Your'e out!
Unread postPosted: Sat Aug 16, 2008 6:57 pm 
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Good news!

William Mabasa replied to the email the very next day and has shown keen interest. He has forwarded it on to the relevant people in the Safety and Security department.

Well done William! :clap: :clap: :clap:

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 Post subject: Re: 3 Strikes...Your'e out!
Unread postPosted: Sat Aug 16, 2008 7:25 pm 
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:dance: Excellent! :clap:

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 Post subject: Re: 3 Strikes...Your'e out!
Unread postPosted: Sat Aug 16, 2008 7:31 pm 
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FANTASTIC Bushmad!!!! WELL DONE :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

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 Post subject: Re: 3 Strikes...Your'e out!
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 12:43 pm 
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Great news!

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 Post subject: Re: 3 Strikes...Your'e out!
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 12:50 pm 
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Excellent! I'll support this initiative 100%. :clap:

THere is a similar initiative by Arrive Alive where you can report bad driving and the offendors are warned via mail. www.arrivealive.co.za

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 Post subject: Re: 3 Strikes...Your'e out!
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 5:35 pm 
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Well done Bushmad, :clap: now lets hope it can be pushed through with all haste. :D

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