Res­i­dents ready to stop crime

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - METRO - SHANICE NAIDOO

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.

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