New neighbourhood watch launched to tackle crime

Neighbourhood Watch committee members, from left, are Gavin Ford, Lerato Letebele, Paul Zacks, Murielle Vegezzi,and Lara Lourenco.

Sea Point, Fresnaye and Bantry Bay residents concerned about crime have started a new neighbourhood watch.

Fears that crime was increasing when the lockdown levels were eased led to a small working group being established and the foundations for the Atlantic Seaboard Community Watch were put in place.

Ward councillor Nicola Jowell said the Sea Point area has previously had a neighbourhood watch but it had become dormant. She said she had offered residents help in re-establishing a neighbourhood watch but there was no buy-in at the time.

“Neighbourhood watches are such an important community tool that not only enable residents to assist in helping to create safe communities, but also provides a platform to partner with all the role-players involved with safety and security,” she said.

The watch’s communications officer Lara Lourenco said the aim of the neighbourhood watch was to create a platform to enable the community to pro-actively work together for everyone’s safety and security.

She said their role was to create a partnership with SAPS.

“Utilising ward councillor Nicola Jowell’s successful previous involvement and extensive experience with neighbourhood watches, it was decided to rejuvenate a refreshed and hopefully more proactive and hence more impactful neighbourhood watch.”

She said they don’t intend to replace the many organisations doing great work but they wanted to harness the volunteers in the community and to focus their effort and energy on crime prevention.

She said as much as they may wish there was a police officer on every street, it was not possible and there are residents everywhere who can act as the “eyes and ears” and with excellent information sharing platforms and being empowered to know what to do when one sees criminal activity or something suspicious.

“We hope the involvement of each resident will mean it becomes much more uncomfortable and difficult for criminals to conduct their nefarious activities and cause harm and problems in this area.”

She said they were deeply indebted to Green Point Neighbourhood Watch’s Peter Flentov, Camps Bay Neighbourhood Watch’s Harry Reynolds, and Sea Point CPF member Derek Salter from the previous neighbourhood watch who have all assisted in sharing of information, best practice and what they have learnt through the evolution of their watches.

“We are so excited that the residents have offered their support for this project and we want the community involved in making our area as safe as possible, for our kids, our elderly and ourselves to walk about at all times and not be afraid.

“For our cars to be safely parked and not broken into. For the drug dealers to stop their business on our streets and ultimately for all crime to be reported and for the police and other safety representatives to be working together to fight the crime in our area,” she said.

Sea Point police station’s Captain Cyril Dicks said the neighbourhood watch is being revived by strengthening the partnership between SAPS and the community.