Residents encouraged to work with watches

Heather Tager.

Green Point residents have been urged to do all they can to help the police and neighbourhood watch reduce crime by reporting it instead of posting about it on social media.

This was discussed at the annual general meeting of the Green Point Neighbourhood Watch that took place at the Hellenic Club on Thursday November 22.

Chairperson Charles Scheltema said the issues facing the community needed to be tackled by everyone.

Mr Scheltema said this year had been a challenging one because the whole committee had stepped down.

He said one of their objectives was to encourage participation in the neighbourhood watch and with the police, to contribute to the safety of Green Point.

Residents were encouraged to get the watch radios that would give them direct access to the community control service and police.

Member of the watch, Dijon Anthony, said they were trying to grow this service and improve the radios because they were the most powerful tools to reduce crime in the community. “We’ve donated 10 of these radios to SAPS because their resources are limited and it’s everyone’s responsibility to play a part,” he said.

One resident shared how the radios had helped track down his son’s car which had been stolen. He said with the help of these radios and the tracking device company, they were able to find the car in Gugulethu.

The chairperson of the Sea Point Police Forum, Heather Tager, said crimes which were currently on increase was theft out of motor vehicles, house break-in and remote jamming. “Residents are still leaving their valuables visible in their cars and this is a problem. Sometimes they leave empty laptop bags and criminals don’t know that there’s nothing in the bag, so they break in,” she said.

Ms Tager told residents that social media was not the police. “We don’t get proper statistics because people don’t go to the police and report a crime, instead they post about it on social media which doesn’t really help,” she said.

Ward 115 councillor, Dave Bryant, said the strength within communities was neighbourhood watches. He encouraged residents to grow and support them.

He said police resources were limited and even new mayor Dan Palto was not happy with the number of police in the CBD.

“He comes from a community safety background and I’ve sent him my wish list and we’ll be going around crime ho tspots in the areas, but I encourage everyone to build and work with the neighbourhood watches because SAPS will not save us,” he said.