New watch for IY

“They needed to know how the criminal justice system works as well as the constitution,” she said.

Further training included exploring the nature of violence and where it comes from, the importance of breaking the cycle of violence, the impact of victimisation and what it leads to and exploring new ways of conflict resolution.

Patrollers were also taught how to identify signs of domestic violence, child abuse and neglect, rape, sexual assault and abuse and drug and alcohol abuse and who to call and what to do in such a situation.

Ms Moore said since the start of the patrols, a shift has taken place and the patrollers have realised how valuable their contribution is to the community.

“Although there have been some growing pains, they are doing an extraordinary job in the community,” she said.

Patrollers do not only give feedback to the sector heads but also to Community Cohesion who then follow up on cases reported by the patrollers.

“This is a very unique set-up and probably a first of its kind as not only are criminals brought to the book but community members who are in need of help or counselling benefit too,” she said.

But it is not an easy task.

Ms Moore explained that patrollers work in extreme conditions and are often victims of verbal abuse, violence and in recent weeks, a shooting.

She said the patrollers were in need of a wendy house or a container that will be used as a base as they currently have nowhere to take a breather during their patrols.

IY resident, Zimkhitha Ntelezi said the streets of IY are much safer at night now and she feels she can walk to the shop alone and take her cellphone with her without feeling fearful.

Although she was a victim of a break-in recently and lost her laptop and school bag with all her books in it, she said the patrollers have made a huge difference in IY and the only reason some of the residents are unhappy with them is because their days of committing crimes are over.

She said except for the crime rate that has gone down, the noise levels in IY have also gone down. “It used to be very noisy at night and many people who tried to go to bed early had problems sleeping,” she said.

Vincent Sodladla, patroller and vice-chairman of the Hout Bay Community Police Forum (CPF), said there are many challenges in IY and every day is different.

“You never know what to expect and on some days you are verbally abused, some days you are shot at, you never know what will happen,” he said.

He said the most common crimes were housebreaking, assault, child neglect, and domestic violence although there are some murders and rapes.

He said the training provided has been very useful and patrollers know they have to break the cycle of violence and cannot fight crime with crime.

“I volunteer my time to make a difference in the community and I am glad that I can do that,” he said. HBNW media liaison, Doreen Malan, said there was some very positive feedback about the IYNW patrollers at the HBNW annual general meeting in May.