Residents ready to stop crime
SIR Lowry’s Pass Village residents have worked to develop a plan to reduce crime in their area.
They have done so over the years and are now ready and well-equipped for the festive season ahead.
They have grown since starting with only foot patrols on weekends in 2010.
“Through the assistance from the Department of Community Safety, training courses and workshops were organised and funded. The member numbers grew slowly.
“Attempts to create a watch for the housing estates and farms were just not successful at the time,” said Sue Buckland, vice-chairperson of the Somerset West CPF and Sir Lowry’s Pass member.
Today the group consists mostly of the most experienced patrollers, who are now the co-ordinators and exco of the Village Watch.
The watch numbers began increasing again when the City of Cape Town offered EPWP work to NHW members. The Village Watch now boasts 40 members.
Colonel Mary Ann Williams, police station commander of Somerset West, said she has peace of mind going into the festive season.
When asked why, she replied because of the support she has from the Neighbourhood Watch, Farm Watch and the CPF.
“They are always on the street and they are our eyes and ears.
“I am sometimes the first person they call when there is a crime and we are able to act fast because of this,” she said.
Acting chairperson Magriet Britz and her team know most of the residents, so they are able to take children off the streets and educate their parents to keep them safe.
Members who prefer to patrol in daylight hours have joined the watch’s “Walking Bus” – with one team helping the senior students get to school in Somerset West without being harassed by drug dealers and drug sellers, while the second team assists the young children to get to school on time and safely.
In 2014, Ryan Norris, chairman of the Farm Watch, started working on the local farmers to become part of a Farm Watch.
In November 2017, the Sir Lowry’s Pass Farm Watch was formed and its few members started car patrols in an area, extending from Idiom wine farm in the east to Waterkloof wine farm in the west.
The watch also patrols on the N2 and through SLP Village as well as the Mission Grounds and the farms along the Mondeor Road in the south and Highbury Farm in the north. This is a patrol of about 45km.
The membership of the Farm Watch is 42-strong. Among the members are qualified paramedics and a leader and trainer of mountain rescue dogs.