Locals to call the shots

2016-10-25 06:00

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Glencairn residents are taking safety into their own hands.

The Glencairn, Glencairn Heights, Old Glencairn and Welcome Glen neighbourhood watches recently held an event to raise R95 000 for the installation of a CCTV camera system.

Although the watches currently patrol and have community vigilance groups, the idea behind a small group to fund a camera project soon became a valley-wide initiative, says Eileen Heywood, sector 1 chairperson of the Simon’s Town Community Policing Forum.

“Crime levels in our traditionally quiet and peaceful valley are on the rise. Significant efforts are made by the communities in terms of their own voluntary patrolling and extremely close relationships fostered with community policing.

“However, it is still not enough to guarantee safety of our homes, property and the safety of our neighbours,” she says.

Heywood explains that police have advised the neighbourhood watches that the cameras help in both the prevention of crime as well as investigating crimes that have been committed.

Such cameras would allow the neighbourhood watches to be the “eyes and ears of the police 24/7”.

Funding for cameras is made available to some neighbourhoods by the City of Cape Town or the local councillor’s ward allocation, but there was none available for the greater Simon’s Town community, Heywood says.

“And thus the Glencairn Valley CCTV initiative was born.”

The residents held a fundraising event in the form of a social braai with an auction that included paintings by local artists and holidays.

The funds raised will go towards building a valley-wide CCTV infrastructure, installed, manned and monitored by the community itself, Heywood says.

“We are aiming to increase the visibility and detection of criminals in the neighbourhood. We seek to be the ‘eyes and ears’ of our police and this will help us to support them further and build a stronger, safer and closer knit community,” she says.

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