Neighbourhood watches get a boost

The Hout Bay Neighbourhood Watch welcomed news that the City is to plough an extra R500 000 into equipment for watches across Cape Town.

The Hout Bay Neighbourhood Watch has welcomed the City’s decision to increase its budget for watches across Cape Town by a further R500 000.

The City already budgets R2.7 million for Cape Town’s 228 accredited watches and their more than 6800 members. The money is used mostly for equipment and support services.

“Neighbourhood watches are an integral part of our crime prevention strategy in communities. The watch members give up their time to make their neighbourhoods safer by being visible and deterring crime,” said mayoral committee member for safety and security JP Smith.

Equipment on a growing list for the watches includes hand radios and radio base stations for their watch rooms, reflective bibs, torches, bicycles, night-vision equipment and jackets.

“Neighbourhood watches make an impact in their areas and help us and the South African Police Service by raising the alarm on suspicious activity, identifying stolen property, doing home security surveys and adding to a sense of safety and responsibility,” Mr Smith said.

Hout Bay Neighbourhood Watch chairwoman Liezl Schulte said she was thrilled to hear about the extra funding for equipment.

“It is great to learn that the City continues to invest in neighbourhood watches and recognises the efforts which the individuals make in their communities with regards to safety and security,” she said.

Ms Schulte listed reflective vests, wet-weather gear, torches and radios on the top of their list of needs, and said the equipment was “key to successful patrolling”.

The Hout Bay Neighbourhood Watch continued to invest in security cameras to aid crime detection efforts coordinated by the watch’s central Watchcon control room.

Hout Bay Community Police Forum chairman Anthony Chemaly said the news was “particularly welcoming” since the CPF’s funding from the Department of Community Safety had been drastically cut to R5000 a year.

“Any funding that can improve the security of the area is welcome,” he said.

• The public can anonymously report any suspicious activity to the Public Emergency Communication Centre at 021 480 7700 from a cellphone, or 107 from a landline. Complaints of non-compliance with Covid-19 regulations can be directed to the City’s compliance hotline at 021 444 3582, and for more information on Hout Bay Neighbourhood Watch, call 021 790 9333 or 060 345 3514 or email