Ready for safety season

2016-10-04 06:00

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It may be October but the festive season is looming and there’s a need to start raising awareness about safety and security.

For the next few month residents in Kenilworth and Claremont can expect an increase in visible patrols from law enforcement agencies to keep the streets safer.

That was the comment from one local neighbourhood watch this week after they joined forces with the police and a local security company, to operate a roadblock.

HarLyn Neighbourhood Watch operated roadblocks and street patrols across Kenilworth and Claremont over the past two weeks, including one roadblock on Palmyra Road.

“This is going to happen more and more as we approach the Christmas season,” says Derek Bluck, chairman of the HarLyn Watch.

“Make sure your car is licenced and keep your drivers’ licence with you.”

A total of 38 cars were stopped and searched during the roadblock on Palmyra Road on Wednesday 28 September and fines to the value of R1000 were issued.

A local business owner welcomed the presence of police and neighbourhood watch in the area, calling it a “necessity”.

“I am glad to see this kind of visible policing in the area as it acts as a deterrent to criminals,” says Ricardo De Gouveia, store manager of a shop on Palmyra Road.

The recent roadblocks and street patrols also had the support of ADT Security, with armed response officers working side by side with watch members and police officers.

“Roadblocks and street patrols play a key supporting role to other law enforcement and crime prevention efforts,” says ADT’s district manager (Cape Town South) Jade Hanning.

“There is already an extensive network of CCTV and other licence plate recognition cameras erected across the southern suburbs, but unfortunately there are many cars driving with falsified number plates,” she says.

“Physical searches, such as the ones we helped carry out over the past two weeks, are therefore very important.”

HarLyn Watch also worked with ADT and the police in Claremont to carry out a street patrol in Harfield Village on Tuesday 20 September during which a number of branded blue City of Cape Town refuse bags were confiscated along with other goods.

Becoming an active participant in your community’s safety is critical, says Bluck.

“We hope the patrols of the past few days have shown the public that by working together, we can drive crime out of the southern suburbs. We need ordinary citizens to also do their part by not keeping quiet when they have any information about crime.”

In the Maitland area the news of more patrols before the festive season was welcomed.

“I am happy that patrols across the peninsula are being stepped up,” says Abduraghiem Wagner. “We would love to see more clampdowns here on Voortrekker Road because there are just so many bad drivers. When it comes to safety and security there should be more action on the crime and drug dealing that is so dangerous. The police are welcome to be here every day.”

Maitland police spokesperson Constable Lorencial Johnson adds: “We urge everyone to take care of their belongings and be aware of their own safety. Maitland police plan to do our utmost best in order to keep everyone safe over this period before the festive season.

“Plans are to conduct regular roadblocks in order to take drunk drivers off the roads. There are also plans are to get extra members on duty over this period to try and keep up with the bigger demand in safety and security.

“The burden should not just be placed on the police for public safety but the community should take more responsibility for their own safety.”

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