Mixed response to watch support

The creche is in dire need of a fence to help in deterring criminals from burglary and vandalism.

There’s been a mixed response to the City’s call last week for neighbourhood watch members to work as Disaster Risk Management volunteers.

This only applies to watches with Department of Community Safety accreditation.

The volunteers will help to promote physical distancing at supermarkets, clinics and transport hubs and patrol school grounds to prevent vandalism.

Summer Greens watch chairman Reagan Croeser is concerned about the possible health risks to watch members.

“My main concern is that we can also get infected and won’t be compensated by the City of Cape Town. Yes, it sounds great and we are all itching to get out there and help because this is what we do, but we also have families and that’s our main priority.”

Some of the watch’s members were interested in joining Disaster Risk Management.

Each watch can nominate up to ten members to join, according to mayoral committee member for safety and security JP Smith .

Table View watch chairman Grant Lemos said many of their members were interested in joining and it would be hard to pick just ten.

“Some members who are interested might feel as though it’s unfair not to put their names forward to the City. The last thing we want to do is upset our members because we are” all volunteers in the community work we do.”

While lockdown has seen an overall drop in crime, Mr Lemos said some people were still not taking lockdown seriously enough.

Victoria Cosa, whose creche in Site 5 was burgled last Friday, believes citizens on patrol can do a lot of good in Dunoon.

Learning equipment, cooking utensils and other school supplies were stolen from her creche.

“They took toilet paper, nappies for the babies, blankets and food we stored there. Our creche is in a vulnerable area and we don’t have adequate fencing to protect the premises.”

Ms Cosa has put out a public appeal for replacement supplies and fencing.

Dunoon resident Nomsa Jezu said community patrols could stop criminals who were taking advantage of the lockdown.

“These criminals target these small businesses in the area like the creches because they know there are supplies there. I wouldn’t be surprised if they start targeting other businesses in Killarney Gardens as well because things are so quiet lately.”

Mr Smith said watch volunteers should wait to hear from Disaster Risk Management before assuming any duties.

“The Disaster Risk Management volunteers recruited from neighbourhood watches will be deployed in their home area as this will promote acceptance by local communities and will prevent unnecessary logistical arrangements. Please note that this is a call for volunteers only and no remuneration is attached to this initiative.”

Watches can email names to Charl Viljoen at charl.viljoen@capetown.gov.za.