Neighbourhood watches in and around ward 66 received new equipment in an effort to help them better patrol and protect the communities they serve.“Ward 66 has six or seven neighbourhood watches and only four of them came out to receive equipment which we are really grateful for. The equipment we received were whistles, because sometimes some of us are in different locations and we cannot get to one another quick enough, so the whistle helps. We also got some torches and those that have bicycles received the headlamp. Should there be something at night that happens, we received two floodlights with a tripod so you can mount the light onto the tripod,” says Shanaaz Davids of Ottery Safety Patrol.Kariema Davids of the Parkwood Neighbourhood Watch is also grateful for the new equipment, but urges more residents to join their ranks.“There is so much they say about him (Councillor Akim), but when it comes to the community he is always there, because when I need something and ask, then he is there for me and the neighbourhood watch. I really appreciate what he did for us.“For the future I think that we need the community to stand up to these kind of things. It is not about the police because they also have other work to do. It is more about the community working together.“We stand as one, the team we have is strong. To all the NHWs out there, we stand together and help each other,” says Meanwhile, Shanaaz says patrolling Ottery has not been easy, coupled with the fact that they are only a handful of members themselves.“Ottery is a very volatile area, but also a very diverse area which is also split. Not a lot of people are coming on board in terms of neighbourhood watches.“We are struggling, especially with house break-ins, car break-ins and the robbery of people on the fields who go to and from work in the mornings and the evenings,” she says.She adds that councillor for the area, William Akim, has been a big help to them and she feels he genuinely cares about the safety of the community he serves.“Because we are not fully fledged neighbourhood watches in terms of the number of people, we can always count on him. Any issue we have in the community that we need reported to the powers that be, he escalates it to ensure that he gets the urgent attention that is needed,” says Shanaaz.She also implores residents to stand up and take ownership of their own safety as well as the safety of their community.“We need more people to assist. We need less people to moan and groan. Rather put your money where your mouth is. We also need people, that when they are robbed, they need to lay charges. Otherwise we are never going to get rid of the robbers, because 10 to 15 people get robbed by the same person.” He called on residents to report crime.