Excitement over reactivation of Neighbourhood Watches in Western Cape
Community Safety Minister Albert Fritz said, during a meeting between officials of the Community Safety Department and the National Secretary of Police early this week, it was confirmed that the restrictions placed on NHWs have been lifted under lockdown level 3.
Fritz said within the targeted Covid-19 hotspot areas, NHWs would be deployed to assist in promoting adherence to regulations, in terms of social distancing at places of gathering and queueing.
He said it would also assist in sharing communications as prescribed by the Community Safety department, acting as a nodal point of information for his department, and patrolling in their community.
“The presence of NHWs will serve to prevent crime. During the lockdown, we have seen an increase in vandalism of schools and shop robberies, in rural and urban communities alike.”
Rocklands Neighbourhood Watch chairperson Cedric Daniels said their NHW had been operating since 1982, but had ceased working during the lockdown.
“The mandate from Community Safety was that the NHW could not go on full duty during the pandemic. The essential service that we can provide is looking after schools to curb vandalism and ensuring social distancing at shopping malls, taxi ranks and bus stops.”
Reagen Allen, MPL and DA Western Cape spokesperson for community safety, said: “Neighbourhood watches are essential to communities’ safety, as the eyes and ears on the ground. We thus welcome the deployment of neighbourhood watches, which will place more boots on the ground and hopefully stem the number of opportunistic crimes.”@TheCapeArgus