Lakeview watch calls for support

ROSHAN ABRAHAMS

The Lakeview Neighbourhood Watch (LNW) is working hard to keep the area clean after drug dealers and gangsters moved in three years ago.

With 50 registered members, the watch, which was launched last year, is inviting more residents to join and help it patrol the area.

Some members who spoke to Southern Mail say they don’t only patrol, but also hand out food parcels to the homeless and advise parents to keep their children off the streets.

Chairwoman Monica Petersen said a “drug house” in Nyasa Street, had been shut down, after they raised their concerns with the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA), which owns the land. The house had been occupied by drug users and Junky Funky gang members.

The neighbours stood together and approached Prasa to have it shut down (“‘Problem house’ must fall” Southern Mail, February 24).

The watch puts a lot of focus on rooting out drugs and drug-related crime in the area, but, said member Arnold Johnson, it needed more members to boost its efforts.

“The more we are, the better we stand.”

Talking about how they were able to help a homeless man, Mr Johnson said: “We encouraged a homeless man, who stole geese at the lake, to help keep the lake clean. We give him a plate of food. He is now keeping the area clean.”

And they are always looking for new ways to help the community.

“We invited a few school children on an environmental tour to Zandvlei Estuary Nature Reserve. We also took about 32 boys to Pollsmoor Prison, during the school holidays,” to show them what happens if you do crime.”

Mr Johnson said the LNW worked with City law enforcement, police and ward councillor Kevin Southgate.

“We are not vigilantes. We want to help uplift the community.”

Another member, Lydia Noah, said she helped with youth em-powerment initiatives.

“We will be having a soccer team soon and a brass band, but we require more brass instruments. If anyone wants to donate, please contact us.

“We also want to encourage people to give back to the community, especially those who used to live in Lakeview who have done well for themselves.”

If you want to join Lakeview Neighbourhood Watch or for more information WhatsApp the group at 083 454 9254 or visit the Facebook page.

Warrant Officer John Bartlett, spokesman for Steenberg police, said it is “very important” for police to work with neighbourhood watches.

“We are working well with Lakeview Neighbourhood Watch, because they are our eyes and ears on the ground. They report crime such as burglaries and robberies to the police.”