Ward 57 neighbourhood watches received a boost at Mowbray Town Hall on Tuesday 26 June as they were handed radios to enhance communication amongst each other.The support was provided through council’s neighbourhood watch programme via the ward allocation budget.Ward councillor Paddy Chapple says they spent just over R300 000 on 100 radios which were split into four, benefiting Mowbray, Observatory, Salt River and U-Watch Neighbourhood Watches. According to Chapple, this was much needed equipment to enhance the functioning of the watches within the ward.He says watches have been doing a good job, creating safer communities and the council wanted to show appreciation and encouragement by allowing them to be able to easily communicate thereby speeding up their response speed.The handover was attended by JP Smith, Mayco member for safety, security and social development, who praised the councillor for his thoughtful act.He says watches are powerful instruments to fight crime in communities. Smith says the City of Cape Town continues to support and find ways of improving the working conditions of the watches through various programmes including trainings and equipment support. He says the City has realised that watches provide a valuable experience about law enforcement departments and is now considering making the watches a basic platform to start on for those who want to pursue careers in law enforcement. “I would encourage youth to start getting involved in their communities and learn basic laws and what it means to be a law enforcement official. There is a lot to be gained and the experience will work to their advantage in future.” Talking about radios, Smith says Chapple has been brave to not just purchase radios but make sure they are licensed and ready to be used. “We have had instances where councillors buy radios and struggle to get licences from Icasa. Well done councillor for doing all this.”He says communication is a vital element among the watch members and information shared via radios is safe and secure. He says the City would continue advancing equipment used. “We are already in negotiations with one of the service providers to see if we can move to cellphone usage because we want to keep intact with the change of technology.”He encouraged all the watches to continue doing the “wonderful job” they are doing. V Continued on page 3.