Joining against crime

2016-04-05 06:00
Sector 2 commander from Maitland Police, sitting left, and neighbourhood watch chairperson Sharnell Southgate sign the memorandum of agreement under the watchful eye of three-year-old Harper Southgate at the launch in Garden Village on Friday. Back from left is, Paul Fouche, Cecilia Fouche, Margaret van der Westhuizen, Sadekah Langeveld, Beatrice Paulse and Anthony Assure. PHOTO: gary van dyk

Sector 2 commander from Maitland Police, sitting left, and neighbourhood watch chairperson Sharnell Southgate sign the memorandum of agreement under the watchful eye of three-year-old Harper Southgate at the launch in Garden Village on Friday. Back from left is, Paul Fouche, Cecilia Fouche, Margaret van der Westhuizen, Sadekah Langeveld, Beatrice Paulse and Anthony Assure. PHOTO: gary van dyk

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Garden Village may be a small suburb on the outskirts of Maitland but they’re playing their part in combating crime in the surrounding areas.

On Friday they re-launched their local neighbourhood watch in Haig Road to make residents more aware of their safety and crime in the area.

Chairperson Charnell Southgate pointed out that they had started the watch because of an influx of incidents by criminals from other areas invading the area.

“We are a very small community here where everybody knows each other,” she said.

“The problem is that there are criminals coming from other areas who are affecting our safety.

“We’ve had problems where stolen cars have been dumped in the area and there has been break-ins at surrounding businesses.

“We’ve also got the Oude Molen Eco-village next door to us and we are concerned about the safety of visitors that includes lots of tourists who use the facility.

“Our aim is to make people aware of the part that they can play in the safety of the community by working with us and the police to report strange vehicles or persons frequenting the area.”

She also added that the establishment of the watch could play a part in the safety of neighbouring suburb Pinelands.

“The main road next to Garden Village is Alexander Road which leads into Pinelands and criminals can easily use our area to hide out after committing their crimes in that area.

“We will be working closely with police when we are made aware of such incidents.” she said.

Constable Lorencial Johnson, communications officer for Maitland police welcomed the initiative in the community.

“As crime fighters, it is of critical importance that the community joins the fight against crime,” he said.

“Our children need to play in the streets safely and without fear at all times without parents being concerned of where their children are all the time. Communities needs to adopt the “your child is my child” attitude.

“The same goes for property because we (police) cannot be everywhere all the time so it is with this in mind that we welcome the newly established neighbourhood watch from Garden Village.
It is of utmost importance that communities get involved with crime fighting initiatives that does not clash with the police, he says.
“The Garden Village area has recently been plagued with people trying to break into premises with unknown persons roaming around. Thefts has also occurred as well as breaking into cars.
“This neighbourhood watch is a much needed addition to the crime fighting team and we as Maitland police looks forward to working together.
 
For more information about the neighbourhood watch call Justin on 081 732 7223.



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