The Neighbourhood Watch Support Programme, an initiative founded by the Western Cape Department of Community Safety and the City of Cape Town, will receive R3.5 million each year along with additional resources to increase security and safety.

The Neighborhood Watch Support Programme, established in 2008, aims to aid neighbourhood watch (NW) organisations to become registered as well as to provide NWs with equipment.

In 2017, over R2.3 million-worth of equipment was given to various NW organisations, from dashboard cameras, bicycles, first aid kits and more. Handheld radios valued at R1.5 million were given to NW members for patrols as well as providing a direct line to the Metro Police.

The City of Cape Town/ NW organisation

The City’ s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security and Social Services, Alderman JP Smith, comments on the importance of this investment.

“An effective neighbourhood watch requires committed members who are passionate about community safety, but equally important are the right tools to do the job. We are constantly re-evaluating how we can improve our offering to the thousands of men and women who devote so much of their lives to this particular cause, because we value their contribution,” he says.

Earlier this year, a container was provided to the NW in the Kosovo Informal settlement in Philippi.

Smith explains this was given to be used as an access point for people to seek help.

“That container can now serve as a base of operations where members can congregate and plan their operations, but it is also somewhere for the community to turn for help if they need it,” says Smith.

Over 500 NW members have been trained since last year.

NW members are trained to prevent crime and reduce opportunities for crime in their immediate physical environment.

Unemployed NW members have been given the chance to be appointed as Facility Protection Officers by the Expanded Public Works Programme facilitated by the City.

Smith expresses his appreciation for the neighbourhood watches in the city.

“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,” he says.

Picture: The City of Cape Town

 

Article written by

Ishani Chetty

Ishani is a vegetarian who is passionate about social issues, the environment and current affairs.