Women on watch to protect

2017-07-25 06:00
Night watch volunteers getting ready to go out on the streets to deter crime.

Night watch volunteers getting ready to go out on the streets to deter crime.

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Two months ago, a group of determined women from Sharedon Park in Steenberg decided to form a night watch group in a bid to fight crime in their area.

After witnessing many neighbours fall victim to crime in the area, 10 women took the initiative to help protect the community. The final straw for them was the theft of a number of water meters in the area.

The patrollers spoke to People’s Post on condition of anonymity so that they don’t jeopardise their crime-fighting work.

“Our contribution to our community is to be the night watch. We are doing whatever we can to keep the people in our community safe.

“We also would like to encourage other people in the community to join and help us. We can’t keep track of what’s happening on all the streets in our area. It would be a lot easier if everyone is keeping an eye on what’s happening in their own streets too,” says one volunteer.

Since they formed the night watch group, the crime rate in the area has dropped, she says.

“People can now sleep peacefully because they know we are on the streets. We are also happy that since we decided to do the night watch, the theft of water meters is a thing of the past. We would like to thank the community and police for recognising and supporting the work that we do for the community. We are urging everyone in the community to join or start their own street committees to help fight crime and to keep their community safe. If we all become the eyes and the ears of the community we can better fight crime,” says another patroller.

One of group’s biggest concerns is children’s safety.

“During the day we also keep our eyes open for suspicious people. Our concern is also children who roam the streets with no supervision. Also, when they walk to and from school they are vulnerable.

“In the morning we walk schoolchildren and working individuals to the train station. Children and adults who take public transport to and from work are always targeted by criminals in the mornings and in the afternoons. Residents get robbed of their belongings such as cellphones, handbags, laptops, wallets, purses and jewellery. They are urged to be very cautious and to never carry these items visibly while walking in the area,” one of the women adds.

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