New ‘sheriff’ in town

Hout Bay CPF members for 2018/19, from left, Heather Saunders (treasurer); Warrant Officer Tanya Lesch (vice-secretary); Vincent Sodlala (vice-chair); Lieutenant-Colonel Khuthala (Hout Bay police station commander); and Toby Adams (PRO)

Hout Bay Neighbourhood Watch (HBNW) has a new chairperson.

Liezl Schulte, was chosen as the group’s new leader at their annual general meeting in April.

The Sentinel News spoke to Ms Schulte, who said during her tenure she hopes to ensure Hout Bay residents have the information they require to make the right decisions about their safety. “We want to increase information-sharing with residents to help them during safety decision-making for their homes and when enjoying Hout Bay,” she said.

HBNW relies on donations to fund their various projects, and Ms Schulte said one of her goals is attracting the resources required to execute them.

“HBNW relies on donations to fund our projects, and we work to ensure safety for all. While our assistance is not dependent upon a person’s ability to pay a subscription, we do require and welcome donations from Hout Bay residents and businesses alike,” she said.

“These donations are used for a variety of things, including supporting the running costs of our Watchcon Control Room, a community asset owned by HBNW and managed by Community Crime Prevention (CCP), to manage and upgrade our radio network, to increase the coverage of our CCTV camera system, and to support patrollers in our less affluent areas,” she said.

According Ms Schulte, HBNW will also “continue to strengthen relationships with all crime-fighting organisations in the area to ensure they jointly identify and drive the right crime prevention projects”.

The HBNW works closely with the area’s CCP to keep the village safe – together they run Watchcon, which is the Hout Bay and Llandudno Community Safety Information Center (CSIC). HBNW is a community-based volunteer neighbourhood security organisation. “Our success is attributed to the many dedicated volunteers who have given their time, energy and resources over the years,” Ms Schulte said.

Ms Schulte believes HBNW has an important role in the community as it gets involved in safety and security across all the communities in Hout Bay.

She also said the grouping is involved in a variety of projects, many of which support the residents of poorer communities in their fight against crime.

Some of HBNW’s achievements and projects include their Beach Project, where the group has daily patrolling on the beach during holiday seasons, to ensure residents and tourists feel safe.

Ms Schulte shared the HBNW’s vision and mission, and said it is paramount to the group to “ensure Hout Bay is a place where people feel safe, whether at their businesses, schools, homes, beaches and trails, or in the streets at any time of the day or night”.

At the HBNW’s annual general meeting, they also presented the Bruce Taylor Memorial Trophy to Fanie Malan.

This trophy – named after Bruce Taylor, an active Overkloof member who died in an motorbike accident some years ago – is presented to the person who received the most votes from fellow HBNW members for their contribution to the group over the past year.