Peter Flentov, incoming chair of Green Point Neighbourhood Watch (GPNW)
Firstly, let me thank Charles Scheltema, for all the work he has put in over the years, first as a member of Exco, then as vice chair, and for the past two years as chair of the Green Point Neighbourhood Watch (GPNW).
Volunteering for community organisations is a thankless task that involves many hours of work, frequently with little recognition and even less thanks. Thank you, Charles, and thank you for your continued commitment to the GPNW.
As incoming chair, I fully appreciate the daunting task that lies ahead. Green Point is a community divided when it comes to crime and grime and is beset by a reluctance to get involved beyond complaining on social media.
Too many in the community will complain and criticise but will not take time to get involved, instead expecting others to take care of the problem.
Reporting crime to SAPS and filing C3 requests with the City might be tedious, but are the least that we, as members of the community, should be willing to do.
I believe passionately that the GPNW can and should be the vehicle for coalescing the community around positive, impactful actions that make Green Point a safer community to live and work in.
The GPNW faces a number of issues in trying to fulfil that role, and I believe that addressing these will be our biggest challenge over the next 12 to 18 months:
Low membership means that the GPNW does not have critical mass, and this limits what it can accomplish in the community,
Low levels of engagement by members and the community at large further impact the effectiveness of the things that the GPNW tries to do, a lack of relevance, perceived or otherwise, to the needs and concerns of the majority of the Green Point community.
One of my first priorities is to put together a two-year plan to address these issues. We will share this plan with members once it has been finalised.
I welcome feedback and suggestions from the membership and may reach out to members from time to time to better understand their opinions and concerns about crime and grime in Green Point.
I believe that there needs to be more frequent communication between the GPNW, its members, and the community. I commit to sending out regular updates on progress towards our goal of building a stronger GPNW and a safer community.
I also believe that the GPNW can be a valuable source of security best practices to member of the community.
Later in March we will be holding a meeting to help residents understand the different types of security cameras available today so that they can decide what the best option for them is. If this is successful then we will hold other sessions during the course of the year.
We are also in the process of evaluating the Buzzer app as a tool for members of the community to report crime and suspicious activity. In order for the app to be effective we will need to license the app from the developers (the cost is R6 000 per month) and find a control room that is willing to act as WatchCom. This is a priority for Exco and we will be issuing further details within the next month or so.
We plan on resuming crime walks in the near future but will re-think how we do them. Instead of getting a large group of members to walk once a month we plan on having smaller groups of members walking more frequently and covering a wider area than in the past.
We plan to divide Green Point into four zones and organise walks in each of the zones.
We will also look at the feasibility of doing patrols between the hours of midnight and 6am, but this will depend entirely on the willingness of members to step up and volunteer to participate.
I look forward to the challenge and hope I will have the opportunity to meet a large number of you and hear your thoughts and concerns. Together we can make Green Point a safer and more enjoyable place to live.