Community watch forum fights crime

WITH break-ins and attempted break-ins in Montrose and surrounds over the years, the Montrose Community Watch asks more people to get involved.

In 2014 Megal Nicol started the community watch, with members taking shifts and patrolling the area at night.

Speaking to Maritzburg Fever Nicol said since she started the community watch the rate of crime has been reduced.

“We have security people who patrol as well as the volunteers from the community. This has helped a lot because now criminals are scared because they know everyone is watching. People take turns patrolling and do a two-hour shift driving around looking in bushes and yards,” said Nicol.

She said it is important that the community work together to fight crime.

“If we can get more volunteers will make things easier because there will be fewer shifts. This is not just about crime, it’s also about community getting together because we need each other.

“Even in surroundings areas people need to get involved. If they don’t have a community watch they need to start one. We also encourage our community to get report anything suspicious to the police or community watch volunteers.”

Nicol said they work with the Townhill Police Station, which has helped tremendously.

“The only time now criminals get to do their dirty work is during the holidays because most people are out of town visiting,” said Nicol.

She said residents who live next to Cascades Mall remain victims of crime because they are elderly.

“These criminals hide in the forest and do smash-and-grabs. Most of them are retired pensioners and criminals take advantage of that, but we want them to also get involved.

“We have WhatsApp groups in different areas in Montrose.

“If you have a problem you just send a message and the community will help. We have become one big family.”

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