Neighbourhood watch vows to eradicate crime in Site B

Members of the Sisonke Neighbourhood Watch.

The Sisonke Neighbourhood Watch in Site B has started their year with a massive boost.

They have received a donation of equipment from the City of Cape Town which will help in their fight against crime.

Community leaders, Khayelitsha police station officers and other guests gathered at Andile Msizi hall to attend the handover ceremony last Thursday.

The City handed over bicycles, spotlights, radios, dash cameras, first aid kits, fire extinguishers and other equipment.

The donation was made possible by the ward allocation budget.

The residents expressed their appreciation for the donation but also took time to complain about crime.

Resident Nolubabalo Skeyi said she applauds the effort made by the City but questioned why there were no law enforcement officers patrolling in Khayelitsha on foot.

Ms Skeyi said they wanted the City to deploy more law enforcement officers in Khayelitsha and take the same stance as in Camps Bay when dealing with crime in their communities.

She said they wanted their community to be a safer place just like in the suburbs.

“We want the City to treat us the same.

“As much as neighbourhood watches makes a difference in fighting crime, were not armed and trained to deal with criminals. We want the City to show interest in fighting crime in our areas.

“We are not safe in our own houses and streets.

“We live in constant fear,” she said.

But mayoral committee member for safety and security, JP Smith, said the City had been working tirelessly in ensuring that residents live in safer communities.

He said such donations allow neighbourhood watch members to be mobile and act swiftly in response to crime hot spots in their communities.

He believes that patrolling acts as one of the key deterrents to criminal activity and anti-social behaviour.

Mr Smith said currently Khayelitsha has 28 CCTV cameras and that shows how serious the City is about eradicating crime in the area.

He said neighbourhood watches are an integral part of any community, serving as the eyes and ears of law enforcement agencies.

“We have seen an increase in the number of accredited groups in the past year with close to 250 neighbourhood watches accredited within City boundaries.

The increased budget for supporting these has enabled us to provide quality patrol equipment. This allowed us to procure bicycles, spotlights, radios, dash cameras, action cameras, first aid kits, fire extinguishers and other equipment,” he said.

He said a custom-made operational vest for neighbourhood watches was designed last year and they would be issuing the first of these shortly.

He hopes that would bolster neighbourhood watches to assist communities.

He applauded the members of the watch for being interested in keeping their community safe but also acting as ambassadors for the City and being an example of responsible citizenship.

Chairperson of the Community policing forum (CPF) in Site B, Nomawethu Masana, told the members that they should not expect a salary as this was voluntary work.

Ms Masana said the work that the neighbourhood watch does is very important in keeping the community safe.

She said she hopes that the members would do their job with the dignity and respect it deserves.

But she added that she was also volunteering because she wanted to be counted among those who had made a difference in their community. Area sector commander, Captain Ntandazo Mncanca, said he hopes that the members would work hand in hand with them.

He said the key challenge with neighbourhood watches was the fact that members tend to stop being active.