NPO installs 15 CCTV cameras in Portland

Back, from left, are Wayne Meyer, Benjamin Rulser and CCTV technical officer Reagan Philander, and in front, are Morne’ Press, Gayle Callaghan, senior superintendant Jean Hesqua and ward councillor Danny Christians.

A non-profit organisation has installed 15 CCTV cameras in the streets of Portland.

Morne’ Press and Benjamin Rulser, members of The Giving Back Project said the installation was part of a pilot project aimed at making the area safer.

While the organisation is officially a year old, they have been involved in community development and working with the youth since 2015.

“The CCTVs allow us to monitor our area. We’ve only experienced an element coming into our streets and stealing a bin but since the cameras have been installed we can monitor everything,” said Mr Press.

Morne’ Press member of the Giving Back Project NPO said the installation of the cameras was part of a pilot project.

Part of the initiative, he said, was a safety and security employment plan for their community.

“We are serious about creating jobs for people and helping them with employment opportunities. We’ve created a bin cleaning project, we’ve asked the community, the youth and children to help clean the parks and take care of the dumping,” said Mr Press.

They want to instil a sense of pride in the community, he said. “We always go to the nice areas out of Mitchell’s Plain when we have the potential to create our own,” he said.

They want to train their youth in CCTV installation and have also converted a garage space into a community centre, where pupils can be tutored, finish their homework, and residents can use the printer and space for work, he said.

They’ve also held music classes for the youth, as well as counselling sessions for those who need them. They feed the community as well as train the children to play soccer as this is a popular sport in the community, he said.

Ward councillor Danny Christians described the pilot project as “very impressive”.

“This is something we can learn from, some lessons we can use within our own communities. It’s not just a one-sided affair. I’m very appreciative of what they’re doing. In the coming years, funding will be provided. We should not stop creating dignified spaces,” he said.

“We encourage the community to work together for the sake of the children and to leave a legacy,” said Mr Press.

Metro police’s Senior Superintendent Jean Hesqua said they’ve assisted the organisation with their CCTV installation. “We can see the progress, we’ve assisted them in this process,” she said.

For more information on the Giving Back Project non-profit organisation email Mr Press at givingback67@gmail.com