JP Smith backs car watch plan

Safety and security mayoral committee member JP Smith and the Citys director of CCTV and radio, Barry Schuller, at the safety and security meeting, at Blouberg library, on Tuesday November 1.

JP Smith, mayoral committee member for safety and security, has come out in support of the stalled car watch project proposed by Ward 23 councillor Nora Grose.

Speaking at a safety and security meeting at Blouberg library, on Tuesday November 1, Mr Smith said the car watch was an example of the sort of system residents could use to improve safety in their community.

Ms Grose’s plan – which was modelled on a car watch in Melkbosstrand – was put on ice after the SAPS, the community police forum and private security firms failed to endorse it.(“Car watch on ice… for now,” Tabletalk, November 16).

Some of those against the plan believed it would require the guards to be registered with the Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority (PSIRA).

However, Mr Smith said that wasn’t necessary. No laws guided the creation of a car watch, so those who wanted to create one were free to decide what it should and shouldn’t be.

“Car guards are a contentious issue, and the problem is that there is no regulatory tool.

“We only have the Traffic Act, which says that you’re not allowed to interfere with someone while they’re parking. But the act normally gets chucked out of court,” he said, adding: “Not SAPS, not the City and not anyone can legally manage the car guards.”

He suggested the car watchers be incorporated into the neighbourhood watch structure, acting as the community’s eyes and ears on the street.

Mr Smith also said the City was looking for alternative to Table View beachfront for a New Year’s Eve fireworks site.

“The fireworks in your backyard are a hugely contentious issue. We no longer enjoy the debate with you, so we are trying to find an alternative site. We are looking at Killarney.

“There are some cons, as it has the vlei on one side and also the refinery. We are looking at the risks.”

The City was opposed to fireworks but only the national government had the power to ban them,” he said.

Also at the meeting, Ms Grose said a new project to encourage recycling would soon be rolled out in Table View.

The project would deter bin diggers while getting school pupils to take a bag of recyclables to school where they could exchange it for a tuck shop voucher.

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