New gear boosts safety

2016-04-05 06:00
 Some of the neighbourhood watch and street committee members with their new gear.

Some of the neighbourhood watch and street committee members with their new gear.

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Several neighbourhood watch members are now better equipped to take on the streets.

Subcouncil 12, in partnership with the Department of Safety and Security – through ward allocation budgets and subsidies from the Safety and Security Directorate – has trained a number of neighbourhood watch and street committee members as part of a support programme that is already in its seventh year. The project is aimed at bolstering its community policing plan and this training is done under the auspices of its Neighbourhood Watch Support Programme.

The programme was established in 2008 as part of efforts to strengthen community policing.

The programme has a number of facets, including establishing and training neighbourhood watches in consultation with the Western Cape Department of Community Safety on legislation, the ‘broken windows’ crime reduction concept, basic patrolling and reporting faults and other service delivery issues to the City.

Members are also equipped with reflective jackets, torches, bicycles and hand-held radios once they have completed their training. In the most recent handover, Subcouncil 12 equipped a number of neighbourhood watch and street committees members in Wards 78, 79, 81 and 82.

Volunteers are essential in any big city, as the police and other enforcement agencies cannot create safer communities on their own, it was said at the event.

“Volunteers do not necessarily have to be active patrollers; they can just be vigilant.”

Recently, the City has started linking the neighbourhood watches’ hand radios to the Metro Police’s control room to expedite responses to incidents.

The Department of Law Enforcement has also started using neighbourhood watches to recruit candidates for the Law Enforcement Auxiliary Service – the only reservist policing service managed by a local government authority.

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