Crime in Imizamo Yethu has dropped dramatically since the introduction of evening patrols while crime in general is down across Hout Bay compared to last year’s figures. This was revealed at the Hout Bay Neighbourhood Watch (HBNHW) Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Tuesday May 31.
Although there were no representatives from Hout Bay police at the meeting, JJ de Villiers, last years’ Community Police Forum (CPF) chairman, and Toby Adams, the current CPF chairman, gave a brief report on the crime situation in Hout Bay.
Night patrollers are now wearing bright coloured bibs as well as numbered identity cards so residents who have a complaint against a particular patroller can use this identity number when making a complaint with police.
Mr De Villiers said although crime in the valley is down, house robberies are still occurring too frequently.
“There are a few groups of perpetrators who are roaming around at night and committing house robberies. They not only need to be apprehended but also linked to specific crimes, in order to ensure they are jailed and kept out of Hout Bay and a concerted effort from all the crime fighting initiatives in Hout Bay is needed to do this,” said Mr De Villiers.
HBNHW treasurer, Peter Hayes, presented the 2015/2016 financial highlights which showed the group’s income increased from R605 000 in 2014/2015 to R885 000 in 2015/ 2016, and expenditure increased from R362 000 in 2014/2015 to R856 000 in 2015/2016.
HBNHW operations manager, Rod Panagos highlighted some of the group’s progress from last year. The HBNHW (Watchcon):
* Relocated from Mainstream to Earthworkx and upgraded its facilities;
* Upgraded the CCTV head end equipment;
* Stabilised the CCTV wireless network links across the valley;
* Secured R100 000 funding from the City of Cape Town towards CCTV monitoring on Hughenden Road;
* Assisted th City of Cape Town to realign the City’s Beach CCTV project to meet local operational requirements;
* Are in the process of installing a new LPR CCTV point on Suikerbossie;
* Installed more analytic capability in the CCTV systems, both centrally and in the area hubs; purchased a R67 000 special camera for use by patrollers and responders and secured sponsorship for Hot Spot CCTV cameras, two more LPR Camera points, free monitoring of the HBNHW’s community safety cameras, internet connectivity to Watchcon as well as free high speed fibre optic bandwidth throughout the valley for HBNHW’s community safety plan network requirements; and HBNHW supplied and manages a covert surveillance package to support police anti-drug operations at a cost of R18 000 and initiated and raised R21 000 towards a responder aid fund.
HBNHW governance officer, Brad Geyser presented the alternative organisational models that were being considered by HBNHW to better address crime and other issues in the valley.
Three models were considered as alternative structures for HBNHW but a combination of the Camps Bay and Constantia models, both successful, seem to be the most suitable one.
This will be developed further and a draft constitution drawn up and presented to members as soon as possible. The meeting gave approval for this to proceed.
Anthony Allen was awarded the Bruce Taylor award for 2016. This award is given each year to the person who, by popular vote of the HBNHW members, is deemed to have made a meaningful contribution to neighbourhood watch.
Bruce Taylor was a member of neighbourhood watch and was tragically killed in a motorbike accident in 2007.
The trophy was donated in his memory by Miki and David Smith of Suikerbossie a few years ago because Bruce was a friend, and regularly worked as a DJ at their restaurant.
Area leader for Orangekloof, Andrew Martin, was elected chairperson for 2016. He took over the reigns from acting chairman, Allan Dellbridge who has been standing in for Dennis Steggink since March when his work commitments took him out of Hout Bay.
Mr Steggink addressed the meeting via Skype and gave a short speech thanking his management team for their support and wishing HBNHW every success for the future.
Mr Martin outlined his five goals for HBNHW:
* Unite HBNHW and Community Crime Prevention in a cooperative and complementary (non-competitive) relationship;
* Implement the new governance structure as soon as possible;
* Rebuild Watchcon as a first class joint operations centre (JOC);
* Ensure there is a tactical responder/ patroller response to back up Watchcon; and
* Set up a security framework for each area so that areas can motivate and sell this security plan to their members.
At the end of the meeting an appeal was made by one of the Imizamo Yethu patrollers for wet weather clothing to help keep their patrollers warm while on duty in bad weather conditions.
After hearing from both Mr De Villiers and Mr Adams, Hout Bay CPF chairman, how significant the contribution of these patrollers has been in reducing crime in Imizamo Yethu, HBNHW has decided to source and purchase these jackets for the patrollers in both Imizamo Yethu and Hangberg.
Following the meeting, a HBNHW member pledged R2 000 towards supplying the required clothing.
To outfit 100 patrollers in Imi-zamo Yethu and Hangberg the full amount required is R15 500.
Any members who wish to contribute to support this drive for patrollers clothing and equipment can either sponsor a jacket by donating R155 to the HBNHW or donate any amount. For more information call Doreen Malan on 021 790 1098.
* The full details of the financial year are available on the website at www.houtbaywatch.com