Neighbourhood watches get more resources

Councillor JP Smith with members of a neighbourhood watch.
The City of Cape Town will employ four more community liaison officers to support neighbourhood watch organisations.

The neighbourhood watch support programme helps organisations to become registered, offers training to members and also provides equipment for use during their patrols.

In the last financial year, reflective jackets, torches, spotlights, dashboard cameras, action cameras, bicycles, first aid kits, flood lights and fire extinguishers were distributed to various organisations. 

During the same period, handheld radios to the value of nearly R1.5 million were distributed to help watch members communicate with one another and to provide a direct line to the Metro police call centre in the event of emergencies.

Mayco member for safety and security; and social services, JP Smith, said; “Just a few months ago, we provided a container for the neighbourhood watch in the Kosovo informal settlement in Philippi. That container can now serve as a base where members can congregate and plan their operations, but it is also somewhere for the community to turn for help if they need it.”

The City of Cape Town has also facilitated opportunities for unemployed watch members to be appointed as facility protection officers through the Expanded Public Works Programme. 

“We owe our neighbourhood watches an immense debt of gratitude. They are our eyes and ears on the ground and there are many success stories of safer streets as a result of the work they do. The City will continue to build partnerships with communities by supporting the amazing work being done by neighbourhood watches and we will continue to invest in them to the best of our ability to ensure that they are able to continue their crucial contribution to the efforts to root out crime, but also anti-social nuisances that plague so many communities,” said Mr Smith.