Trained to watch

2015-08-18 06:01

Neighbourhood watches in Grassy Park are gearing up in the name of safety after neighbourhood watch training kicked off in the area on Saturday last week.

The first batch of training was hosted at the League of Friends of the Blind (Lofob) building, with eager members strategising the best way forward.

After requesting support form the department of community safety, neighbourhood watches in the area will receive extensive workshop-based training to equip them and to make clear what their duties and responsibilities are when patrolling their areas to make them safer.

Spokesperson for the Grassy Park Community Police Forum Philip Bam says the recent training was well-received and appreciated by members.

“Over the two days of training we had 24 members attend. Five neighbourhood watches were represented at the training workshop, which included the Buck Inn, Eagle Eye, Parkwood, Central Park as well as On the Vlei neighbourhood watches,” Bam says.

He adds members received basic neighbourhood watch training, which included getting to know their areas and boundaries as well as their rights and responsibilities.

“Members were asked to draw maps of their areas, which included infrastructure in the area and what to be alert of. They also pointed out their boundaries and where they operate in the Grassy Park precinct,” Bam adds.

Members were alerted to their own safety while on patrol as well as their own rights and responsibilities.

“Members are now more alert about what they can and can’t do while on patrol. This includes being mindful of residents’ rights and treating everyone in a dignified manner. This has cleared up some confusion that may have existed previously,” he adds.

Bam explains more training is expected to be done next month, which will allow all 200 members from the nine neighbourhood watches to be trained. V

“The training provided covers a vast number of topics, ranging from reasons for the training, making the community safe and liveable as well as concentrating on social ills in the community. Members were also trained to be vigilant in terms of recognising a situation where either good or bad things can happen – before it actually happens. This in turn makes them proactive,” Bam elaborates. 

According to Bam, of the 24 members who attended, 10 are unemployed.

“At the moment the department is also looking at appointing a security service provider who will provide training to our members. This will then have a knock-on effect as our unemployed members will be trained as security officers for our proposed safety kiosk in the area. The unemployed members will then also be trained to be security officers and this will assist in employment,” he adds.

Bam confirms training will resume in September.

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