Community Crime Prevention (CCP), the well known Hout Bay crime-fighting non-profit, says it faces closure without a sudden cash injection.
Despite security company Fidelity ADT donating R60 000 to fund operations at the Watchcon control centre and R10 000 donated to CCP itself, CCP says it is struggling to pay rent and salaries.
“The truth is we are in a dire financial situation,” said CCP director and founder Keri Cross.
CCP and Hout Bay Neighbourhood Watch had agreed that CCP would manage Watchcon from the beginning of April, including hiring staff, fixing the network and overseeing other responsibilities.
“Watchcon salaries alone come to R62 000 a month. This is for five full-time staff, which includes tactical and technical management. At the moment, CCP is covering the costs of rent, internet, equipment, lights and toiletries and amenities,” said Ms Cross. “Furthermore, we have had to cover the costs of the much-needed upgrade to the Watchcon control centre.”
CCP had also incurred expenses reconfiguring the CCTV network and linking camera feeds with other surveillance systems.
“The expenditure is endless. We also manage and maintain the car guards in Hout Bay. There are also unforeseen costs to cover. For example, this month our UPS packed up. Replacing this will be R7 000, and a new router will cost another R7 000,” Ms Cross said.
“For CCP we have two vehicles on the road. We have an office and three full-time staff. The petrol bill alone is R12 000 a month. The insurance for CCP is R25 000 for the year plus an additional R2 000 every month. As you can see, it is a monumental financial outlay.”
Ms Cross said CCP employees were desperate to keep serving the community, but required donations to cover the costs of salaries, rent and fuel, in particular.
She said that in August, Watchcon received 1 117 calls, of which 111 had been serious incidents, including attempted break-ins, medical emergencies and fires.
“We assist the SAPS by fielding calls when crimes are committed, and for this reason we believe we provide a much-needed service” she said, appealing to residents to donate money to keep CCP going.
“Our ultimate aim is to never have you need our help, but if that day comes, we want to be able to be there. Please visit our donations page at www.ccphoutbay.co.za/become-a-sponsor. You will find our banking details for EFT and also a debit order form if you prefer.”
Hout Bay community policing forum chairperson Anthony Chemaly said it was in the interests of Hout Bay and Llandudno that Watchcon be maintained.
“Watchon renders an important service to the community in terms of fighting crime in the village,” he said.