Ward 65 watch members offered training

City safety boss, JP Smith

The neighbourhood watches of Ward 65 have applauded the City of Cape Town’s Department of Safety and Security for taking the initiative to recruit watch members for auxiliary training.

Neighbourhood watch chairpersons who spoke to Southern Mail said they are happy to have met JP Smith, mayoral committee member for safety and security, and social services, on Tuesday October 25.

The meeting with Mr Smith was called by ward councillor Patricia van der Ross.

Mr Smith promised the watches help during the upcoming “silly season”.

Riaad Harris, of Duiker Avenue Neighbourhood Watch, in Lotus River, said the recruitment initiative would benefit the neighbourhood watches in fighting crime.

Mr Harris said about 14 neighbourhood watch chairpersons were asked to submit names of members who would like to be recruited for auxiliary officer training.

George Nelson, chairperson of Klip Neighbourhood Watch, said: “The meeting was fruitful, however, it was said that there is a backlog of 1 500 recruitments. “Ward 65 was given a chance but it may not happen immediate-

Applicants have to qualify for certain criteria.

“They have to be over the age of 18, have a matric certificate, and no criminal record. They will go through physical training and will have to do voluntary work
16 hours a month,” said Mr Nelson.

Southern Mail asked Wayne Dyason, spokesman for Law Enforcement, how far the recruitment process was. “All applicants who have applied via our SMS system have been notified to attend our preliminary assessment. All successful candidates will be notified.”

When asked how many members have submitted their names, Mr Dyason said: “Unfortunately, applications are done via SMS and we cannot confirm how many of the Ward 65 members applied unless we have their names.

“We will train 50 people for this intake. Next year we will recruit another batch.

“The City of Cape Town’s interventions are limited to training and the provision of equipment.

“The City of Cape Town has established a good working relationship with community policing structures at different levels and this includes equipping neighbourhood watch members once they have received training from the Department of Community

“We also rely heavily on organised community structures for intelligence about illegal activities in their areas.

“We value the input of neighbourhood watch organisations as we consider them a force multiplier.”