Safety is a numbers game, says CPF

2015-05-26 06:00
CPF chairperson Fuad Titus says neighbourhood watch numbers in the Grassy Park area should increase.

PHOTO: 
Chevon Booysen

CPF chairperson Fuad Titus says neighbourhood watch numbers in the Grassy Park area should increase. PHOTO: Chevon Booysen

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Grassy Park neighbourhood watches are coming together to make the area a safer one.

However, community police forum (CPF) chairperson Fuad Titus said during a meeting on Wednesday last week that the organisations should rather focus on increasing their numbers.

“We have to work on recruiting more people into the existing neighbourhood watches as well as work on launching more neighbourhood watches in our four sectors. At the moment I know of 20 neighbourhood watches in our area and we need to increase this number,” Titus said.

He added residents should be encouraged to join the organisations as it ensured the safety of the community. “Our neighbourhood watches are the first people to know what is happening in our area before the police,” he added.

Titus confirmed these meetings would be held monthly and would include all four sectors in the Grassy Park policing area, which includes Parkwood Estate, Ottery, Lotus River and New Horizons.

Newly-appointed neighbourhood watch coordinator John Goss, who also serves on the CPF as deputy chairperson, added it is envisioned that the crime fighters will conduct operations with the local police.

“We are forming a channel between the police, CPF and neighbourhood watches to fight crime. We intend for watches to go along on operations,” Goss said.

Titus added all new neighbourhood watches and recruits would get training.

With many representatives present from different neighbourhood watches, members raised concerns about stop-and-searches, but Goss said he “is not keen on the idea”.

“Our neighbourhood watches should be very careful on how they handle residents in the area. Although I agree with a civilian arrest and acting within the boundary of the law, I still am not keen on stop-and-searches conducted by neighbourhood watches as this is a free country and people should be able to walk where they wish,” Goss said.

This statement was met with mixed reactions and neighbourhood watch representatives said stop-and-searches would continue in their areas “because it works”.

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