Extra help for force

2016-12-13 06:01
The Strandfontein Neighbourhood Watch are now better equipped to deal with crime with the addition of six Law Enforcement auxillary officers. PHOTO: Samantha Lee

The Strandfontein Neighbourhood Watch are now better equipped to deal with crime with the addition of six Law Enforcement auxillary officers. PHOTO: Samantha Lee

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Strandfontein now has six new auxillary Law Enforcement officers roaming the streets with the local neighbourhood watch.

And they can write tickets, issue fines and legally make arrests while on patrol.

As part of a reservist project launched by the City of Cape Town, six dedicated crime-fighting volunteers have gone through the paces to become official Law Enforcement auxillary officers.

Community Policing Forum chairperson Sandy Schuter says the volunteer structures nominated the six individuals to help police.

“Police can’t be everywhere and this way we are giving the neighbourhood watch more authority while on patrol,” says Schuter.

Miranda Lawrence, Evan Pienaar, Wesley Moses, Kendal and Kyle Daniels and Schuter all successfully completed the training.

Lawrence, Pienaar and Moses also put on their gear to join the watch on Friday for a mass patrol in Bayview.

This was also the official introduction of the auxillary officers to the community.

“We have had a problem in Bayview with crime and that is why we chose to start here and show our strength to encourage residents to join us,” says Schuter.

The watch was joined by police, Law Enforcement officers, members of neighbouring watches and several street and block committees from the area.

JP Smith, Mayco member for safety and security, said previously in a statement that the programme was put together to boost operational capacity and secure more feet on the ground without a massive budgetary impact.

“The volunteer auxiliary officers are being recruited from neighbourhood watch structures across the city and will work a minimum of 16 hours a month, without compensation. They will be deployed under supervision of experienced Law Enforcement officers in accordance with the City’s needs, but will also patrol their own communities,” Smith said.

Those who completed the programme received a City staff number – allowing them to write tickets – and a reflector vest.

In 2013 the first 16 officers signed their volunteer agreements and received their appointment certificates. Several other classes have also graduated since and have started with active patrols.

“We hope to grow our volunteer Law Enforcement component to 400 in the next two years to augment our policing efforts across the metropole, benefiting all of Cape Town’s residents,” Smith said.

Schuter says they are looking to allocate more members for the programme in future and encourage all other watches to do the same.

Schuter says wished to thank Leon Wentzel and Linda Gantsho and all other officers for their support and the intensive training.

The volunteers will also be active during the festive season, maintaining a high visibility alongside permanent officers.

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