Safer if you share with neighbours

2015-09-15 06:00

Lakeview Neighbourhood Watch members are calling on residents who are interested in forming street committees to make contact with them.

This call is an effort to get more people involved in safeguarding their community.

The secretary of the Watch, who asked that her name be withheld as she has received threats since the establishment of the Watch, says residents can play a vital role in deterring crime through street committees.

She says the street committees can only be established if residents in each street are interested and committed.

“We are not forcing anyone to join as it is voluntary. All we ask is for people to understand the benefit of being in communication with their fellow neighbours, especially where crime is concerned.”

Each street needs a street captain, who will give important information to the rest of the neighbours in his streets and to other street captains.

The Watch secretary explains that residents can report suspicious behaviour or people to their street captains.

“They can also indicate to one another as to when they will need someone to do something as simple as taking their refuse bin into their property on bin day if they arrive late from work or are coming from vacation.”

She further explains if a resident knows that their neighbours are going away they can watch over their property, put out the refuse bin, switch lights on and off or pick up a newspaper dropped in the driveway.

“All of these actions help to stop opportunistic criminals from attempting break-ins,” she says. “These kinds of alerts or passing on of information make a huge difference and also help people to get to know their neighbours.”

She says street committee members do not have to be active patrollers. It is merely an extension of what the Watch’s aims and objectives are.

“Residents simply need to be the eyes and the ears of the Watch and of their streets.”

She adds it is a way for people to come together and socialise. They can even organise their own street socials to get to know one another and build better relations.

“We hope to create a safer and friendlier environment in which residents feel comfortable engaging with one another,” she says.

She adds that residents need to take ownership of the community “and not only rely on police to make a difference”

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