Two are better than one

2016-05-31 06:00

With two neighbourhood watches patrolling the Lansdowne precinct, crime is being kept at bay.

Yorkshire and Groenvlei neighbourhood watches are currently working collaboratively to curb crime in their area and since this happened, positive results have already been seen.

This comes after Groenvlei Community Watch was deemed “dissolved” by the Lansdowne community police forum (CPF) earlier this year (“Subforum election fails”, People’s Post, 15 March).

The community watch has since been reinstated after a discussion between the CPF, police and the neighbourhood watch.

Lansdowne police spokesperson Sergeant Nkululeko Mnyaka confirms “the Groenvlei Community Watch was dissolved following their failure to participate in efforts initiated by the CPF to resolve the split between the two structures”.

Mnyaka says they are happy that the two structures are able to protect the area against crime.

“Since the merger there is a decrease in crime in the Groenvlei area specifically around the schools during the day and property crimes at night.

“We welcome the marriage and hope that will empower the structures in fighting crime,” Mnyaka says.

Mnyaka however confirms that there is still no active subforum for Sector one.

“The Sector one subforum is still inactive until a new date is set for a public meeting in order to re-establish the subforum,” he says.

Mnyaka stresses that crime prevention is high on the agenda.

“We cannot let the criminals win, we need to come together. We encourage all safety structures to work together in order to win the fight against crime,” he says.

CPF chairperson Rafique Foflonker explains the structures had a “split previously and after mediation an agreement and reunification was reached”.

“We just want to say that it takes a lot of courage for the two teams to do what they are doing. We understand that within structures there are strong personalities and reaching a solution is tough but we are glad a solution, and a positive one at that, came of it,” Foflonker says.

He adds the two structures held one of their first event patrols at the recent Groenvlei High School dance marathon on Friday 6 May and have conducted joint patrols in the area before this.

“The police will be able to give statistics with regard to crime in the area but as far as observed, I can say there has been a change in crime in our area,” Foflonker says.

Currently joint patrols between the two structures are being conducted with two shifts.

Moosa Omar, chairperson of Yorkshire Neighbourhood Watch says a recent meeting held together with Groenvlei Community Watch was positive.

“The turn out at the meeting was phenomenal. Many people attended the meeting where crime and crime trends were discussed,” he says. 

Omar adds that they still want more residents joining the neighbourhood watch structures.
“At the moment the best thing about the two neighbourhood watches working together is that there is visibility and crime is being kept at bay. However, if we have more people patrolling with us it can only be a good thing,” he says.

According to Omar they do have their task cut out for them on Tuesdays which are described as one of the “busiest days”.

“On a Tuesday the area is very busy because it’s refuse collection day. On these days we have bin scratchers out in the area and we work on getting them out of the area.”
Groenvlei Community Watch chairperson Kurt Thompson says they are also very happy to have merged with Yorkshire.
“At first there was a sense of nervousness but this soon changed and since our official meeting that took place we decided to work together, the two structures are working under one banner and so far we are working quite well together,” he says. 

Thompson adds the two structures have been added to chat crime alert groups and visibility in the area has increased due to the numbers.

“But like anything, crime will also be there and it is frustrating. Groenvlei is a no-wheelie bins and trollies area and we make a concerted effort with removing these culprits from the area. However, now we noticed that there is a new trend in the area and that is the stealing of bricks,” Thompson explains.
He adds that all crime trends in the area is being monitored.

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