Watch has new ideas

2015-07-14 06:00
Plumstead Neighbourhood Watch is growing in member numbers. The organisation urges more residents, especially younger residents, to get involved too.

astrid februarie

Plumstead Neighbourhood Watch is growing in member numbers. The organisation urges more residents, especially younger residents, to get involved too. PHOTO: astrid februarie

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In an effort to revive a local neighbourhood watch the existing members are calling on more young people to join the organisation.

Andrew Lillie, chairperson of the Plumstead Neighbourhood Watch, says over the past few years they have struggled to get members who were willing to serve on the executive committee and be involved in running the Watch.

“This year was different in that we had members volunteering to stand on the executive committee and, for the first time in three years, have had a full committee,” he says. He adds the last annual meeting was very well attended and well supported. “Three members from the previous committee were re-elected and two new members joined the committee. The two new members are younger people with new ideas and a willingness to make a contribution,” he says.

Lillie hopes that the new committee, with some new blood, will make a difference in so far as the running of the Watch is concerned. “Our two new members are prepared to make a difference,” he says.

Ride alongs

Barry Schuller, the new operations manager, has shared with the Watch what he would like to achieve in the year ahead. This includes having a stable section leader for each of the seven sections in the Plumstead Neighbourhood Watch.

“Each section should have a core of dedicated patrollers,” he says. He suggests to get more young people involved by means of “ride alongs” to quell their fears of being on patrol. He wants to empower patrollers with quarterly presentations and have three more licence plate recognition camera locations in the area, linked to the control room.

Community spiritThe new vice-chairperson will be focussing on creating a community spirit and fundraising efforts. Natasha Wells Van der Merwe plans on creating a community spirit by hosting events for people to get to know each other.

“Create a community where everyone knows their neighbours and their neighbourhood,” she says.

She also wants to find a way of getting people from behind their high walls and gates and get them to socialise.

“Through this heightened sense of community we hope that more people will be willing to patrol, as more visible patrollers on our streets means a safer community for all of us,” Wells Van der Merwe says

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