Dunoon watch pleads for more members

The Dunoon Neighbourhood Watch says it needs more members to keep the community safe.

Dunoon Neighbourhood Watch says it needs more members to help it deal with a growing crime problem in the area.

There are more muggings, break-ins, assaults and murders in the neighbourhood than usual, says the watch.

Watch member Cynthia Ludziya said they needed more residents to play a role in keeping the community safe.

“We have a neighbourhood and street committees in Dunoon. People have to make use of them and try to get involved in them. We have been running this watch since 2013, but there are not enough of us to try to keep the community safe. We need our community members to stand up and push back against criminality,” she said.

Some residents, like Themba Jikela, say they would like to join but are afraid of being targeted by criminals.

“These criminals will do all they can to try to make this place as lawless as possible. I’m sceptical because of the intimidation I might receive. I often think back to the watch member who was killed last year. It makes me nervous, but I do understand that if we as a community don’t stand up and do something about this, we will lose our area to the criminals,” he said.

Mr Jikela was referring to Bongani Ntsendwana, who was shot and killed last year during a robbery, although no connection has been made between his death and his role as a watch member.

Milnerton SAPS station commander Brigadier Marius Stander said Dunoon had seen moderate increases in contact crimes in the past year.

There was a “very positive relationship” between Milnerton police and the Dunoon residents and community leaders, he said.

“Nevertheless we urge the community to report all criminal activities in order that we may plan our policing activities accordingly. As always, we encourage the active participation of all communities in crime-prevention initiatives, as it is only with their active participation that we will succeed in creating a safe and secure environment for all the people of Milnerton,” he said.

Wade Seale, spokesman for Community Safety MEC Albert Fritz, said the department’s provincial safety plan aimed to halve the province’s murder rate by 2029, but that could only be achieved with a “whole of society” approach, including involvement in neighbourhood watch groups.