Glenwood volunteers mobilise to fight crime

2014-06-02 00:00

CRIME in Glenwood is being fought by a determined voluntary crew of residents armed with nothing more than flashlights and two-way radios.

Already over 45 volunteers patrol the neighbourhood daily.

With magnetic decals attached to their vehicles, the Glenwood Community Watch (GCW) said they are intent on pushing crime away.

GCW chairperson Guy Perrins said they have styled their organisation along business principles in order to give it structure.

“We are aware that there is a bigger picture which we must look at. In order make neighbourhoods safe crime prevention is but one of the strategies. We must work closely with the police and the city council,” said Perrins.

Bordering on Glenwood is the Bulwer Community Safety Forum and Glenmore Community Watch (GWC). There are similar organisations in Westville, Durban North and Hillcrest.

GCW’s actions are part of a wider movement across suburban Durban where communities are mobilising into neighbourhood watches either independently or in partnership with community police forums to fight back against rampant residential crime and reclaim the streets.

Glenwood veteran patroller Dave Keightley said their patrols have displaced crime.

“We have had results and it is only through being vigilant. But in order for the city to have an impact on reducing crime, communities throughout Durban need to be organise into similar community watches,” said Keightley.

The GCW already counts several successes among its achievements, such as pushing away prostitution from around Glenwood High School.

While police have not released statistics, the Umblio CPF chairperson Ben Madokwe admitted last week that petty crime was on the rise and the GCW’s own data showed similar upward trends.

Umbilo police confirmed that much of the stolen goods are resold locally while all brass fittings and metal grids outside properties being stolen are likely sold as scrap.

Last week the GCW held what they called a “Blitz Patrol” and included over a dozen vehicles patrolling Glenwood streets simultaneously — first in convoy before taking positions throughout the suburb — to monitor activity while constantly communicating via two-way radio.

Patrol leader Eric Cotton said the volunteers are briefed to avert confrontation and merely be the “eyes and ears”.

“If it does not feel right then back off, radio it in and get the police involved,” said Cotton.


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