Committee happy with progress

2019-07-02 06:00
Vice chairperson, Sylvia Buchanan; chairperson, Avian Bell; treasurer, Samantha Vorster; operations manager, Justin De Vos and not present was secretary, Amanda Lancaster.

Vice chairperson, Sylvia Buchanan; chairperson, Avian Bell; treasurer, Samantha Vorster; operations manager, Justin De Vos and not present was secretary, Amanda Lancaster.

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The new executive committee for the Plumstead Neighbourhood Watch has only been working for a few months and they are happy to see the progress and teamwork across the watch.

They started working in April after a special general meeting was finalised. The special meeting had to be called after all the previous executive committee members resigned with immediate effect.

With what seemed to be a bleak future for the watch, the new committee took over and has brought in new blood into the structure.

Avian Bell, chairperson of the watch, says they have had some eye-opening matters to deal with, interesting challenges to overcome and they are all excited and motivated to keep making the community safer.

As the new committee, they will work extremely close with the police, Law Enforcement and Security Service Providers to ensure that their common goal of keeping the community safe is met.

“High visibility is imperative in the area to show we mean business. We have patrollers out there on the road every day volunteering their time to look after the community. We assist in huge special operations joint with law enforcers,” he says.

Asked about crime in the area, Bell says like most areas in South Africa, it has its ups and downs. “We have had some challenging weeks but other weeks I’m pleased to say that it has been very quiet.“

The most common crimes reported are housebreakings, business breakings and that is what they will prioritise. Street robberies and theft out of motor vehicles also brings a challenge due to the geographic of the area (railway stations, highways, shopping centres and schools),” he says.

Bell explains that a large number of calls for assistance are to deal with medical related matters, that’s why they have recently introduced a medical team that consists of first aiders and an Intermediate Life Support (ILS) qualified individuals heading up this team to assist where possible and get the necessary services on scenes as soon as possible.

“Our patrollers get a lot of calls for assistance where fights or domestic disputes have broken out on the streets which often gets resolved with the assistance of the police, Law Enforcement and Security Service Providers,” he says.

Without comparing themselves to the previous committee, Bell says they are a committee that is united, transparent and openly communicates on a daily basis with their members and patrollers.

“We keep encouraging as much feedback as possible and by doing this we can constantly improve the watch. We are happy to confirm that we have a great watch, with amazing members and patrollers working coherently with one another.”

In conclusion, Bell emphasised the importance of residents, members and patrollers being the eyes and ears of the community.

“This is vital for any watch. We are a large group that makes a difference and by being out there on the road, patrolling enforces that we do not tolerate crime in the area as well as supporting our partnerships with others. It also creates awareness within the community which encourages non-members to join the watch.

“In closing we would like to thank every single one of our members, patrollers, police officers, reservists, Law Enforcement, auxiliaries, security service providers and the control room for their amazing dedication, the time they volunteer being out there on the road and for keeping our community safe, you are all absolute legends,” says Bell.

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