Truant kids on patrol list

2015-10-20 06:00

In an effort to get youngsters more active and to contribute in a positive manner the Lakeview Neighbourhood Watch has set out a number of programmes for them to get involved with.

The secretary of the Watch (who requested to remain anonymous due to threats) says getting youngsters involved in the Neighbourhood Watch is important as they want them to take responsibility for the community in which they live.

“We see many young children walk around in the streets during the day and late evenings and many of them are involved in activities which are detrimental to their growth,” she says.

The Watch aims to “clean up” the area by starting with graffiti on the walls in the area.

“We want the youth to take a stand and make a statement by joining us in painting over those ugly words on the walls,” she says.

They want the children to see that there are positive activities to get involved in rather than sitting on street corners and walking around during odd hours while putting their lives at risk.

“We hope to see many children, along with their parents, join us once we have finalised the date and time of the graffiti removal as this should be a community initiative,” she says.

The Watch is also in the process of planning a trip to a correctional facility.

“We want to take a group of children to a correctional facility to educate them about the prison system and why they should not find themselves in that position,” she says.

The Watch members believe strongly that if they can get these children, as well as their own, to visit the correctional facility they can see what life is like on the other side of the fence.

“We need to instil tough love of a different nature, because talking is not enough. Parents are at their wits’ end and they are approaching the Watch for help,” she says.

She adds that the Watch members need these children to have a life-changing experience, “something they can talk about for years to come”.

The secretary came up with the idea after having patrolled for a couple of months.

“Our concern is that we see a lot of young, underage children on the streets after midnight with bad elements who are twice their age,” she says.

She adds that the majority of underage children are from “respected families who are not aware of what their children are up to during the day and night”, because they have demanding jobs and work long hours.

“The past couple of months were hectic when we patrolled because the roaming of underage children has increased dramatically at night as well as during the day – during school hours – and the ages range from as young as 10 years old,” she says.

Their vision and goal as a watch and community is to help parents who work to get their children back on the right track.

“Whenever we get these children on the streets at night we normally take them out of nightclubs or from the street and escort them home. However, we have been getting the same kids weeks on end,” she says

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