Cleaning up the streets

2016-05-31 06:00
ConWatch neighbourhood watch says apart from fighting crime in their area, they also have to deal with school kids that bunk school and sit around at parks. They say they will be patrolling all the time to make sure that comes to an end. PHOTO: TIYESE JERANJI

ConWatch neighbourhood watch says apart from fighting crime in their area, they also have to deal with school kids that bunk school and sit around at parks. They say they will be patrolling all the time to make sure that comes to an end. PHOTO: TIYESE JERANJI

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ConWatch Neighbourhood watch in Coniston Park has vowed to sweep their streets clean of crime.

The neighbourhood watch was formed only three weeks ago but says people are already feeling their presence.

They are in the process of finishing up with their paper work so that they are fully registered.

However, that is not stopping them from working. They have been in meetings with different entities in the area to make others aware of their existence.

With patrols in the morning and evenings, they plan to keep their area safe. They also patrol at various times during the day.

The neighbourhood watch has to deal with issues like battery theft, break-ins, and robberies. They also plan to take to task those who sit on street corners and smoke or drink.

Gilbert Carstens, co-chairperson of the neighbourhood watch, says they did this to secure their area.

“Areas around us have neighbourhood watches. We didn’t want criminals to feel the pinch in other areas and end up in our neighbourhood committing crime. We also have our own challenges here that we need to deal with in making the area safe. So having a neighbourhood watch was the best way to tackle our problems head-on and make it safe,” he says.

Apart from dealing with safety issues, they also have to deal with children who loiter around at parks instead of attending school. Now and again they patrol at the parks and check that there are no children playing truant.

As they were patrolling last week they saw three girls from Steenberg High school that were sitting at the park during school hours.

“These are some of the things we have to deal with. Kids sit around and don’t go to school. We talk to them, telling them of the dangers of being there. They are very vulnerable to crime – anything can happen because the area is so quiet and people are at work,” says Carstens.

Currently there are around 20 members patrolling, but they need more, says Carstens.

“We want more people to join. We want people with cars as well that can help us to make patrols easy. We don’t want people that are loitering or sitting around. We want to make this area safe so that people enjoy being here. We are also asking residents to take ownership of their area. If you see kids sitting around, challenge them; ask them why they are not at school. If you see suspicious people, let us know. We can only fight crime by working together.”

V Those who want to join the neighbourhood watch can call Carstens on 074 773 1927.

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