Lwandle watch trains to fight crime

2018-10-18 06:00
Members of the Lwandle Neighbourhood Watch successfully completed a two-day training workshop presented by officials of the provincial community safety department. PHOTO: Velani Ludidi

Members of the Lwandle Neighbourhood Watch successfully completed a two-day training workshop presented by officials of the provincial community safety department. PHOTO: Velani Ludidi

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After being kitted out with vests and other equipment to help them with keeping the streets of the community safe, members of the Lwandle Neighbourhood Watch have now also undergone the necessary training to further aid their cause.

A two-day workshop, organised and run by the provincial Department of Community Safety, was held for watch members at the municipal offices in Lwandle last weekend. The purpose of the sessions was to better educate the watch members on their roles and what to do in challenging situations while on patrol.

This comes just weeks after a donation of reflector jackets, rechargeable torches and a first aid kit by Ward 86 councillor Jongidumo Maxheke (“Donation gears neighbourhood watch to take to the streets”, City Vision, 13 September).

The workshop was requested by the Lwandle Community Policing Forum (CPF); it entailed members being educated on, among others, handling suspected criminals, attending to complaints and reporting a crime.

Silulami Swartbooi, chairperson of the Lwandle Neighbourhood Watch, said the workshop opened the patrollers’ eyes to many matters related to the fight against crime.

“We don’t assault people at night and we do not act as if we are the police,” he said. “These are just some of the things we learnt during this important workshop. Our job is to maintain peace in the community, and we were also taught which channels to use when the police and CPF do not listen to us.”

Residents who join the watch are first screened by the City of Cape Town as it is believed suspected criminals also join watches in a bid to advance their own agendas. The Lwandle Neighbourhood Watch covers three areas within in the Lwandle policing precinct, explained Swartbooi, who added that it is often a battle to patrol all the areas all the time.

Watch member Masindi Bani encouraged residents to join the organisation. “We joined because we love our community,” Bani said. “We need more hands and, with government having providing us with the necessary knowledge, we now know what we need to do when patrolling the area.”

Lwandle CPF chairperson Siyabonga Makaula said the workshop was necessary, as it provided the patrollers with much-needed information and education. “It was important, because it gave them knowledge of the journey ahead,” he explained.

“There are rules and regulations in the neighbourhood watch. I liked the engagement throughout the workshop, because it showed that the members know the challenges of the community.”

Makaula believes neighbourhood watches should form part of the City’s Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP). “After all this training,” he says, “the members must be added to the EPWP database and, as a means of encouragement, they should receive a stipend for the work they conduct.”

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