Sub-council 12 equipped Mitchell’s Plain neighbourhood watch and street committee members with reflective jackets, torches, bicycles and hand-held radios on Wednesday March 30.
These included representatives of wards 78, 79, 81 and 82.
With funds made available through subsidies and ward allocation budgets, Sub-council 12 and the Department of Safety and Security has trained a number of neighbourhood watch and street committee members as part of the Neighbourhood Watch Support Programme which was established in 2008 in a bid to strengthen community policing.
The programme has a number of facets, among them establishing and training neighbourhood watches in consultation with the Western Cape Department of Community Safety on legislation, the “broken windows” crime reduction concept, basic patrolling and reporting faults and other service delivery issues to the City.
Chairperson of Sub-council 12, Eddie Andrews, said volunteers are essential in any big city, as the police and other enforcement agencies cannot create safer communities on their own.
“Volunteers do not necessarily have to be active patrollers. They can just be vigilant.
“Every community member who watches what happens on the street from their property is an active CCTV camera, as long as they know what to report and where to report it.
“Research shows that the single most powerful deterrent for house robbers is an active neighbourhood watch and we encourage residents to continue working with us to combat crime in their neighbourhoods,” he said.
He said the City has started linking the neighbourhood watches’ hand radios to the Metro police control room to expedite responses to incidents.
The Law Enforcement Department has also started using the neighbourhood watches to recruit candidates for the Law Enforcement Auxiliary Service.