Local watch gets certificate

2019-04-23 06:01
At the event, from left: Achmat Suliman from Red Zone, Constable Winston van Schalkwyk, Grassy Park police, Fareed Ismail from Red Zone, Adien Rasdien, Red Zone and Ivan Coghlan, Grassy Park police.

At the event, from left: Achmat Suliman from Red Zone, Constable Winston van Schalkwyk, Grassy Park police, Fareed Ismail from Red Zone, Adien Rasdien, Red Zone and Ivan Coghlan, Grassy Park police.

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After two years of being operational, Red Zone Neighbourhood Watch in Grassy Park is finally accredited.

Red Zone was among the 29 watches that were accredited by the minister of community safety, Alan Winde in Goodwood on Friday 12 April. There were also four renewed accreditations making a total of 33. According to a statement, this number has added the total number of legit watches to 338 in the province.

Each watch structure received a starter kit comprising padlocks, a first aid kit, fire extinguisher, reflective bibs, torches, safety whistles, strobe lights and vehicle decals, while each patrolling member received a t-shirt, with a new logo.

Red Zone has been operating since 2016. It has 20 regular patrollers and hundred registered members in the community. It has reportedly played a crucial role in fighting crime within its precinct which includes Riverside to Lakeside and from Fifth Avenue to Nineth Avenue.

The secretary of Red Zone, Fareed Ismail says they are happy to finally receive a certificate of accreditation.

Explaining the two-year delay before the registration, Ismail says they had minor issues with documentation and a series of meetings needed to be held to finalise everything and make sure everything was intact.

He says they can now spread their wings and get involved with various community projects while focusing on growing their numbers.

Ismail says within the short period of their existence they have managed to attract young people. They also plan to have door to door campaigns.

“If we all work together, we can make a difference through reducing crime. New members do not necessarily have to be involved in patrols but can assist in other aspects of community upliftment.

Winde says: “Our community volunteers continue to play a critical role in combatting local crime. I commend each volunteer for sacrificing their own time to ensure that their areas are safeguarded from unscrupulous characters.”

He says the department aims to ensure that accredited watches become more functional, accountable and capable partners who will actively contribute towards safety within their communities.

He says the 2017/18 crime statistics show that through their visibility and patrols in communities, property-related crimes, which include residential- and business robberies and the theft of, and out of a motor vehicle, were reduced by 6.8%. “We want to strengthen this so that more residents are encouraged to become volunteers, as this will help achieve a #SaferWesternCape.”


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