Crime can decrease here

2016-08-09 06:00
The Strandfontein Neighbourhood Watch are growing their ranks following a three week recruitment drive. A follow up meeting will be held with theFlyers that were handed out at the

The Strandfontein Neighbourhood Watch are growing their ranks following a three week recruitment drive. A follow up meeting will be held with theFlyers that were handed out at the

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A partnership between safety structures in Strandfontein is set to see a decrease in crime.

With the re-election of the Strandfontein Neighbourhood Watch (NHW) executive, the structure recently embarked on growing their ranks with a three-week recruitment drive in the various sectors of the Strandfontein policing precinct.

Levan Jacobs, the NHW spokesperson says the drive was a success.

“On the books there were 87 members, but only 10 active members who were always active and willing. After the drive we received the details of 47 members who are willing to join,” says Jacobs.

But the drive is more than just growing the volunteer base.

“We want to become self-sufficient where we approach businesses to come on board with the watch so that we don’t need to rely on the City or the department or anyone else for equipment or anything else,” he says.

Sandy Schuter-Jacobs, the Community Police Forum (CPF) chairperson, says they struggled for a long time to get the watch back up and running, but she believes this time it will be different.

“The previous watch lacked commitment and drive. For four years we struggled as the CPF because they were dysfunctional,” she says.

She adds the assistance from all role-players is important in motivating and sustaining a strong NHW, something they now have.

Schuter-Jacobs says they needed stability at the station and can already see the change in the attitude of the volunteers and police.

“It is the first time we have someone who is so interested in the community. Its not that a new broom just sweeps clean. He responded in a day. That was positive and he is not only hearing, is he is listening,” she says.

She is referring to the newly appointed station commander Captain David Malong who started a month ago.

“He has been at every drive so far and talking to the community and I can see the change in the attitude of the shift members,” she says.

Malong has also increased foot beats and encouraged partnerships between the structures and other safety institutions such as Scorpion Security Solutions.

Brenden Baxter, Scorpion CEO, says they always had a good working relationship with the police under previous management but it fizzled out under the previous commander.

“Sharing information between us and police is important because when our guys are on the road and they drive past someone, we don’t know if he is wanted or not so we cannot react.

For the safety of the community and the safety of our clients we prefer to be proactive rather than reactive,” says Baxter.

They currently assist in patrols and Baxter says: “We want to bring down crime because it will help us divert it from our clients’ homes.”

Malong says he encourages partnerships in addressing crime.

“We want to be on the ground because communication is key and the channel must be open,” he says.

He says the community must continue working with police.

He refers to a positive arrest where the community was instrumental in relaying information that assisted police.

Schuster-Jacobs says residents should also refrain from using social media to report crime.

Police should be the first point of call.

“Call us when there is a problem. We are the ones who should deal with complaints. Don’t phone when it is too late. Rather be preventative. People should not assume that everything is OK. Call the police so that we can investigate and detect what is going on before it is too late,” says Malong.

There is still time to join the fight against crime. Jacobs says if you do not want to be part of the NHW you can also join your relevant street committees.

To join the NHW email Strandfontein.neighbourhood@gmail.com or call the police station.

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