Control room to watch

2015-12-01 06:00
Members of the community listen attentively as they are being addressed about issues affecting their community.

Members of the community listen attentively as they are being addressed about issues affecting their community.

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Maitland Neighbourhood Watch (MNW) has created a control room to keep track of all suspicious movements in the area, which should make it easier for police to follow up on crime.

It will also be used to keep a record of every suspicious thing in the area.

This was announced to residents at a general feedback meeting.

At the meeting they also discussed some issues of concern in the area.

The members of the MNW have no doubt that the control room will go a long way in fighting crime.

It will have three people on duty, alternating to make sure that there is always someone to record and be on the lookout if something comes up as well as to dispatch information to patrollers if there are any suspicious activities.

Graham Daniels from the MNW says they are not going easy on crime and they want their area to be a safe place for everyone.

“We believe the control room is a step in the right direction. It will really help us in watching over the streets.

“The control room will be fed by members of the community who report suspicious activities through the WhatsApp group. Then the person in the control room at that time will disseminate the information to patrollers.

“We will also keep record of everything so that when a crime is committed we are able to give the police a starting point in investigating.

“We are also asking residents to regularly come out of their homes during the day to check movement, but this will also discourage criminals as they would not like to be seen,” he says.

To make sure that everyone is on board and they know how to report crime the NHW is doing training.

“We trained people on how to use the radio, how to report crime to patrollers, how to describe a suspicious person so that it will be easy to keep track, as well as how to report crime and what to do at a crime scene. We want everyone to know what to do then work will be much easier,” says Daniels.
In the meeting crime statistics and crime trends were given. Police are concerned with the increase in theft of cars, as well as theft out of cars. Residents are warned to not leave valuables in their cars. There has been a noted increase in number of cellphones stolen from people walking and talking in the street and the neighbourhood watch is calling on people to be vigilant.
“Don’t attract crime. Even if it’s running back into your house, make sure that you don’t leave anything in your car exposed. A lot of things are being stolen out of cars and that can be avoided if people are vigilant.
“We are also urging people to not walk in the streets talking on their phones or playing music. They are attracting people to rob them, so can people be extra careful,” urges Graham.
With the festive season almost here residents are encouraged to inform the NHW when leaving on holiday so that regular patrols can be done.
“If you’re going away for the holiday let us know so that we keep an eye on your house. Residents should also ask their neighbours to clear their letter boxes, as well as move dirt bins onto the property on collection days.
“We want to keep the area safe for everyone and people must work with us to make sure we keep the place safe.”
Councillor Lisa Mcbride also attended the meeting and once again thanked all the roleplayers in the Maitland area for their contributions in trying to make Maitland a safer place for all residents, she said.


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