For­mal re­cog­ni­ti­on for neig­hbour­hood wa­t­ches

Knysna-Plett Herald - - Crime | Misdaad - S­te­fan Goo­sen * Mo­re in­fo: www.wes­ter­n­ca­ com­mu­ni­ty-sa­fe­ty or con­tact your lo­cal sec­tor ma­na­ger at the Knys­na po­li­ce sta­ti­on.

This month the Knys­na po­li­ce held a pu­blic meet­ing with sec­tor 1 re­si­dents re­gar­ding po­li­cing mat­ters, com­mu­ni­ty po­li­ce part­ners­hips and ot­her fac­tors af­fecting the po­li­cing a­rea in the Up­per To­wn sec­tor.

The meet­ing took pla­ce on 17 Oc­to­ber at the Rus­sel Ho­tel and in­clu­ded the Knys­na po­li­ce, CPF and pro­vin­ci­al de­part­ment of com­mu­ni­ty sa­fe­ty.

The main fo­cus of the meet­ing was dis­cus­sing the pro­cess to be fol­lo­wed re­gar­ding neig­hbour­hood wa­tch accre­di­ta­ti­on, and the We­stern Ca­pe de­part­ment of com­mu­ni­ty sa­fe­ty’s de­pu­ty di­rec­tor: neig­hbour­hood wa­tch pro­ject Ay­esha For­tu­ne was on hand to ex­plain the pro­ce­du­re and be­ne­fits of such an accre­di­ta­ti­on.

As re­si­dents are a­wa­re, neig­hbour­hood wa­t­ches ha­ve be­co­me mo­re pre­va­lent o­ver the last few y­e­ars.

Be­fo­re For­tu­ne con­ti­nu­ed, Knys­na CPF chair C­heryl B­ritz des­cri­bed the Up­per To­wn neig­hbour­hood wa­tch as a group with a big he­art. She ad­ded that alt­hough the­re ha­ve been so­me chal­len­ges with accre­di­ta­ti­on of all neig­hbour­hood wa­t­ches in Knys­na, the CPF and po­li­ce are cur­rent­ly bu­sy with the pro­cess.

For­tu­ne said the accre­di­ta­ti­on of neig­hbour­hood wa­tch struc­tu­res forms part of the We­stern Ca­pe Com­mu­ni­ty Sa­fe­ty Act, Secti­on 6, but ad­ded that it is not com­pul­so­ry, alt­hough the­re are ad­van­ta­ges to the accre­di­ta­ti­on.

“It al­lows the spe­ci­fied neig­hbour­hood wa­tch to be for­mal­ly re­cog­ni­sed, it as­sis­ts with the re­gu­la­ti­on of such groups, en­su­res functi­o­na­li­ty, and al­lows for accu­ra­te re­cords to be kept by the de­part­ment,” she said, ad­ding that it al­so en­coura­ges coope­ra­ti­on be­t­ween the com­mu­ni­ty and the po­li­ce.

For­tu­ne said that af­ter the pro­per accre­di­ta­ti­on pro­ce­du­re has been fol­lo­wed and the pro­per forms ha­ve been fil­led in, accre­di­ta­ti­on is va­lid for two y­e­ars.

A­mong the re­qui­re­ments for accre­di­ta­ti­on is fin­ger­print scree­n­ing of all pa­trol­lers, i­den­ti­fying the a­rea of o­pe­ra­ti­on and al­so the mo­de of com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on u­sed by the wa­tch. “The pro­cess ta­kes a­bout three mont­hs af­ter all forms ha­ve been re­cei­ved. At pre­sent the­re are al­re­a­dy 153 accre­di­ted wa­t­ches a­cross the pro­vin­ce,” said For­tu­ne.

A­mong the ad­van­ta­ges of accre­di­ta­ti­on is that ba­sic trai­ning is of­fe­red by the com­mu­ni­ty sa­fe­ty de­part­ment. This in­clu­des accre­di­ted first-aid le­vel 1 and ba­sic fi­re­fig­hting trai­ning.

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