‘Be our sons’ heroes’

2015-06-16 06:01
The Southern Eye Neighbourhood Watch are calling on more men in the community to join the watch in an effort to be positive role models to the youth in the area. 

astrid februarie

The Southern Eye Neighbourhood Watch are calling on more men in the community to join the watch in an effort to be positive role models to the youth in the area. PHOTO: astrid februarie

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A local neighbourhood watch in Lavender Hill is calling on more men to join them in an effort to gain good rolemodels for young boys and men.

The Southern Eye Neighbourhood Watch was established in April. So far, most of the members are women. There are currently 27 families registered with the Neighbourhood Watch, bringing the total membership to 45.

Lucinda Evans, founder of the Watch, says she finds that the current rolemodels in Lavender Hill are the ones who do not have a positive impact on the lives of young men and boys. “The rolemodels that the youth look up to promote violence and are also the providers of drugs,” she says.

However, Evans says, since the establishment of the Watch the youth are now seeing more upstanding men, fathers and brothers as their rolemodels.

“The call for men to join is aimed at the hope that throughout Lavender Hill we will have more neighbourhood watches in which men will take up the role to help women restore safety and peace in the community,” she says.

Evans says many husbands support their wives in taking responsibility to protect their families.

“We want to acknowledge the dedication and commitment of the men and also invite the broader community to do the same,” she says.

Asked whether there is a misconception of what is expected of people who join the Neighbourhood Watch, Evans says many people think that neighbourhood watches are “the vigilantes out there to stop crime”, but instead the Neighbourhood Watch is there to provide guidance and to protect its immediate environment.

“Training is provided to members to ensure they know exactly what is expected of them when registering with the Watch and when they become active patrollers. People must understand that the Neighbourhood Watch is not there to replace the police,” she says.

Evans says the main objective of the Watch is to make sure that “our children are able to play freely in the community, ride their bikes and J boards, sit in front of their doors with their cellphones in their hands and not be afraid that someone will walk past and take it or assault them for their possessions”.

“Anyone interested in joining the Neighbourhood Watch will undergo fingerprint screening at the police station. They must have sober habits and be dedicated to patrol,” she says

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