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Neighbourhood watches find their stride<p>On Thursday evening, Mayor Plato and Alderman Smith joined Ilitha Park Neighbourhood Watch in Lingelethu West and then Iliso Lethu and Thumamina in Site B. The neighbourhood watch support visits continue as a means to offer support to community neighbourhood watch groups and the broader community.</p><p>‘There is a vibrant and passionate neighbourhood watch here in Khayelitsha, helping to protect the community under difficult circumstances. Like other areas, it faces challenges when it comes to crime. Members here do this for the love of their communities, even though they may sometimes face intimidation. It is important that we offer them all the support we can. As the City of Cape Town, we need to assist the neighbourhood watch groups as far as possible; our involvement during this visit is to encourage and inspire them to continue doing their sterling work,’ said Executive Mayor Dan Plato.</p><p>‘Neighbourhood watches(NHWs) are an invaluable link in the chain of keeping communities safe. Crime prevention is most effective through a collective effort and these residents realise the contribution they can make. We all have a duty to make our communities safer. Over the past decade, NWHs have become a key part of crime prevention in communities across Cape Town through their continued growth,’ added Mayor Plato.</p><p>Thursday evening’s activities centred around visibility, emphasising the regulations around mask-wearing. It included a visit to a spaza shop in Site B, where customers were not requested to wear a mask. Observant Law Enforcement Officers confiscated a stolen traffic light from the same spaza shop, which had been placed discreetly inside above the entranceway. There was also engagement with residents in terms of their concerns. </p><p>The visits are also intended as a way for residents to engage directly with officials on any service delivery issues. Some of the concerns that were raised included fused street lights, blocked drains and alerting officials to illegal dumping on land next to Isasazo High School in Site B.</p><p>Neighbourhood watch members can also become members of the Volunteer Law Enforcement Auxiliary Service (LEAS). In 2013, the Safety and Security Directorate launched LEAS, and prospective volunteers are encouraged to first join their local neighbourhood watch. Such patrollers are then able to receive a recommendation from their respective NHW chairperson. This in turn allows them to apply as a LEAS volunteer. 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.  </p><p>‘There’s a large network of neighbourhood watch groups in Khayelitsha, with great coordinators and active volunteers. We are hoping to move forward as quickly as possible with the volunteer Law Enforcement Auxiliary Service to train up more people from the neighbourhood watch to be fully-uniformed auxiliary members with powers, so they can help their neighbourhood watches patrol. A good portion of the NHW members are auxiliary Law Enforcement Officers or reservists from Khayelitsha and I’m proud to see them here. The challenges that they face here are tougher than some of the other communities and I really tip my hat off to them,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety & Security, Alderman JP Smith. </p><p>‘One of the five things we do to support NHWs, along with training, is linking them with hand radios, and eventually a feature-rich Smartphone App that will increase each member’s value as they become more effective,' added Alderman JP Smith. <br>As evidence of the value of their contribution, each year the top-performing groups, as well as individual members are acknowledged at the City’s Neighbourhood Watch Awards. NHWs are accredited by the Western Cape Department of Community Safety. </p><p>The public can report any suspicious activity anonymously 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. Should members of the public wish to report defective infrastructure such as broken streetlights or blocked drains, report these by using the online form. <a href=""></a> <br></p><p><strong>End</strong><br></p>2021-02-13T22:00:00ZGP0|#1d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70;L0|#01d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70|City news;GTSet|#62efe227-07aa-45e7-944c-ceebacca891dGP0|#b480eb1b-cfa8-45cf-ab3d-21f848f482e9;L0|#0b480eb1b-cfa8-45cf-ab3d-21f848f482e9|safety and security;GTSet|#2e3de6c1-9951-4747-8f53-470629a399bb;GP0|#1b05f64b-82b6-48ff-9032-784fac58cf97;L0|#01b05f64b-82b6-48ff-9032-784fac58cf97|executive mayor10


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