It was an evening of celebration and reflection of the past decade as the Devil’s Peak Vredehoek Neighbourhood Watch (DPV Watch) held its annual general meeting last Wednesday, October 24.
The neighbourhood watch celebrated its 10th year of existence and bid farewell to a large part of its executive committee who have been hands-on since its inception.
The outgoing chairperson, Vito Paparella, announced some of the new faces on the executive committee who are taking over the reins.
Mr Paparella thanked the old watch members for their efforts and contribution in protecting the community.
“Without you, we wouldn’t be here, the amount of time that you’ve put in and spent in here, chipping away at the various problems and challenges that we faced,” he said.
Reflecting on the past 10 years, Mr Paparella said they’ve managed to build strong relationships with other neighbourhood watches, the South African Police Service (SAPS), law enforcement and SANParks rangers.
“We faced many challenges in the past 10 years and SAPS resources were stretched and we had no choice but to come together to fight crime,” he said.
He urged residents to join the neighbourhood watch.
Executive member, Jo-Anne Friedlander, touched on how social media has changed how crime is reported.
“When we started the neighbourhood watch, there was no Facebook or WhatsApp and crime was never reported on social media. When someone was a victim of crime we would come together and face it,” she said.
The residents heard that although the membership was growing, housebreaking and theft out of motor vehicles had increased over the years.
For the year ahead Mr Paparella said DPV plans to focus on its core activity — the fight against crime. The neighbourhood watch plans to recruit more patrollers.
They will roll out additional LPR and mountain cameras and continue to collaborate with neighbouring watches.
Mr Paparella said they plan to complete the piazza area and will install lighting along the new paths.
The DPV Watch wants to add elements of pump tracks to existing bicycle trails, work with Streetscapes and get field workers to assist with social issues.