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City neighbourhood watch remains resilient<p>​</p><span><p>Over the past decade, neighbourhood watch groups have grown steadily and now thousands of members have become a key part of crime prevention in communities across Cape Town. </p><p>Cape Town Executive Mayor Dan Plato offered words of encouragement to the NHW members. </p><p>‘I wanted to join the NHW here in Matroosfontein to see the commendable work they are doing under challenging circumstances to help prevent crime. It was heartening to see their commitment and resilience to push on. I heard of the challenges that this neighbourhood watch face during their patrols and it is important that the City of Cape Town continues to offer its support to them so that these members can continue to demonstrate their care for their fellow neighbour through actively dedicating their time to help make neighbourhoods safer,’ said Executive Mayor Dan Plato.</p> <figure class="subtopic-fullsize-img"> <img class="responsive" src="" alt="" style="width:949px;" /> </figure></span><span><p>‘Preventing crime needs all of us to play our role with the awareness of what we can do to uplift communities. Visibility is vital in reducing the occurrence of crimes and we appreciate the efforts of NHWs across the City,’ added Mayor Dan Plato.</p><p>LED torches, reflective bibs, face masks and sanitiser were some of the items handed over to the Matroosfontein Neighbourhood Watch prior to the start of Thursday evening’s patrol. In Matroosfontein, the main concerns identified were housebreaking, theft of electricity cables, and the dealing in illegal drugs. Patrol activities focused on visibility and identifying drug hotspots. </p><p>‘We have very committed and long-standing members who over the last 14 years have shown great care for this community. We face criminal elements in the surrounding borders of Bishop Lavis, The Range and Epping Forest, but we also face the challenge of resistance within our own community. The theft of electricity cables by criminals makes it more difficult to prevent certain activities and the vandals know this. More support is needed from the South African Police Service when called, to assist us,’ said Matroosfontein NHW spokesperson, Elton Benjamin.</p> <figure class="subtopic-fullsize-img"> <img class="responsive" src="" alt="" style="width:949px;" /> </figure></span><span><p>The visits are also intended as a way to directly engage residents on any service delivery issues that they are facing and need assistance with. During the patrol, residents are encouraged to mention any issues which need urgent attention. <br> <br>‘Each year our NHWs prove their worth through their efforts to assist in reducing levels of crime within our communities. Their dedication and persistence for improving our community becomes the driving force of similar initiatives created in partnership in achieving the same goal. This is evident in the Law Enforcement Auxiliaries Programme, which allows registered neighbourhood watch patrollers to apply. Once trained and equipped, these voluntary Law Enforcement officers are then able to directly assist their NHWs with the authority of a peace officer, thus further enhancing the safety within their own communities,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, Alderman JP Smith. <br> <br>Neighbourhood watch members can also become members of the Volunteer Law Enforcement Auxiliary Service (LEAS). In 2013, the Safety and Security Directorate launched LEAS, with prospective volunteers encouraged to first join their local neighbourhood watch before being recruited as a LEAS volunteer. <br>Although the Law Enforcement department’s primary role is by-law enforcement and addressing traffic violations, they are playing an increasingly larger role in joining the local communities to prevent crime. <br>The public can anonymously report any suspicious activity to the Public Emergency Communication Centre on 021 480 7700 from a cellphone, or 107 from a landline. Complaints of non-compliance with COVID-19 regulations can be directed to the City’s compliance hotline on 021 444 3582.</p> <figure class="subtopic-fullsize-img"> <img class="responsive" src="" alt="" style="width:1284px;" /></figure></span><p><br>Caption 1:  Executive Mayor Dan Plato walks with the Matroosfontein NHW and Ward 30 Cllr Charles Esau(glasses)<br>Caption 2: The Matroosfontein NHW receive LED torches, bibs and other equipment to assist with their patrol efforts.<br>Caption 3: Neighbourhood Watch members point out the spot where criminals steal electricity cables.</p><p><br><strong>End</strong></p><span><figure class="subtopic-fullsize-img"> </figure>​​</span><span>​​</span><span>​​</span>2021-02-20T22:00:00ZGP0|#1d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70;L0|#01d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70|City news;GTSet|#62efe227-07aa-45e7-944c-ceebacca891d10


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