‘New’ watch to tackle drugs

2015-11-24 06:00
Sheraton Park Neighbourhood Watch aim to deter criminal activity in their community by being proactive through their patrols and other community upliftment projects. Ivory Close has been one of the streets they have been monitoring closely as they cl

Sheraton Park Neighbourhood Watch aim to deter criminal activity in their community by being proactive through their patrols and other community upliftment projects. Ivory Close has been one of the streets they have been monitoring closely as they cl

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Several residents in Sheraton Park have come together to revitalise their neighbourhood watch in an effort to tackle the crime in the community.

The neighbourhood watch, officially called the Sheraton Park Neighbourhood Watch, has been up and running for the last month and has already managed to register 45 members.

The members actively patrol the hotspot areas and also have plans in place to uplift the community, especially the youth in the area.

Eric Bailey, a resident and member of the Watch, says it has been about 15 years since there last was an active neighbourhood watch in the community.

“We thought it was time again to form this organisation and to come together and find solutions to our problems, but also to find ways to get the community together and look out for each other,” he says.

Biggest issuesThe Watch has determined where they need to place their focus which includes parks, open fields and the reserve.

Bailey says one of their biggest issues is drugs and drug dealing.

“We hope with our presence in the area that it will deter those dealing in drugs to come into our community. It is fairly quiet here, which makes it a soft target, but we will continue to patrol and monitor our streets and report what we see to the police,” he says.

The open field at the end of Ivory Close is where, according to Bailey, many people become targets of robberies.

“We would like for the close to be fenced off in an effort to stop suspected criminals from entering the community and use the field as an escape route. People are often robbed as they walk to and from work. School children also become a target when they walk over the field,” he says.

Eyes and ears at nightThe neighbourhood watch also monitor the closing times of shops and the use of parks at night.

“We see many young children hanging around at the park unattended, with no supervision from parents which is negligent on their part. We would like to see more parents get involved in their children’s lives, then perhaps we would not have so many young people out on the streets at odd hours,” he says.

In going forward the neighbourhood watch continues to encourage more residents to join, in an effort to make a difference to give people the platform to be proactive.

“We really want to urge residents to join us. They don’t need to patrol. There is so much more they can do with regard to setting up programmes for the youth, for people who are unemployed and just being the eyes and ears of the police,” he says.

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