No excuse to not help

2017-05-30 06:01

Behind the seemingly quiet façade of our valley, in houses dotted far and wide, there are those who aren’t preparing to settle in front of the telly nor have a good eight hours’ sleep.

These people are collecting their neighbourhood watch kits and are hitting the streets to be a first line of defence against crime.

Day and night these volunteers, with the backup of various camera systems and communication links to security providers and law enforcement departments keep a vigilant eye on suspicious activities, vehicles, fires, missing persons and the occasional hunt for the lost dog.

In their capacity to do good they’ve even changed tyres, given lifts and popped in to reassure the elderly neighbour down the street.

Now I know your next thought is going to be: “I haven’t the time, fitness level or desire to be out there. Let someone else do the job who enjoys that sort of thing.”

Let me tell you, you are missing out.

Whilst some of us are not patrollers there are many ways to be part of the neighbourhood watch. Some of the behind-the-scenes activities include watching and checking cameras, keeping an eye out at local school functions, admin, being a safe house, monitoring the various social media groups, right down to just being eyes from your window or recharging torch batteries.

Apart from the above methods of helping, there is always the much-needed and appreciated monetary donations that can assist with replenishments of communal items such as decals, torches, vests, radios or the items themselves.

The body that oversees the neighbourhood watches is called the community policing forum (CPF).

They liaise and work closely with a range of departments. The CPF is also constantly busy with community projects that include trauma rooms, street dwellers and parking guard attendants and are always grateful for extra hands and talents. They also would welcome donations to carry on with the projects running presently and to implement new ones.

There is ample data proving that where a strong neighbourhood watch exists, the amount of crime decreases drastically. There is opportunity to do training through various government departments.

There is really no excuse not to get involved in whatever capacity suits you, whether you can offer one hour a month or 12 hours a day, you are needed and wanted.

Feel free to contact me on 021 786 1146 or 079 951 9786 so I can pass you to the correct CPF contact or neighbourhood watch coordinator.

Karen Kerchhoff Simon’s Town CPF

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