Neighbourhood Watch (NHW)
We all play an important role in keeping our community safe. We encourage communities to fight crime in their neighbourhood by joining their Neighbourhood Watch (NHW). There are many benefits for a community who takes responsibility, when working closely with the police, to prevent and combat crime.
We have a Neighbourhood Watch Accreditation and Support Programme that’s aimed at regulating and supporting the functions of accredited Neighbourhood Watch structures. The NHW model is a whole-of-society approach to prevent crime and violence. It encourages and empowers citizens to participate in preventing and responding to crime and violence in their communities. The Neighbourhood Watch Accreditation and Support Programme is aligned to Section 6 of the Western Cape Community Safety Act of 2013.
The NHW Accreditation and Support Programme aims to:
- Provide support to NHW to become sustainable and capable safety partners within Government and communities.
- Acknowledge and recognise the efforts of accredited NHW and their contribution to safety.
- Identify and document safety concerns within communities.
All NHW must first apply for Accreditation to the Western Cape Department of Community Safety (DoCS). Once approved for accreditation, NHW becomes eligible for resourcing, training and funding.
Accreditation of NHWs
When your NHW is approved and accredited they will receive Accreditation Certificate as well as a “Starter Kit”. The accreditation certificate is valid for 2 years and must be renewed 3 months before it expires so that the accreditation doesn’t lapse.
Training for NHWs
As part of the NHW Accreditation and Support Programme, the Western Cape Department of Community Safety (DoCS) offers a two-day basic NHW training course. The training is provided within communities throughout the Western Cape at a community hall within the area. Training is free of charge and all logistics relating to training and catering is provided by DoCS.
The training NHWs can receive, includes the following:
- Introducing Strategic Objective 5: Increasing safety in the Western Cape.
- Community Mapping.
- Why Neighbourhood Watch?
- Imagining a safe and liveable neighbourhood.
- Your rights and responsibilities.
- Who are your partners in building a safe and liveable neighbourhood?
- Summarising – Know, be, do.
- The Neighbourhood Watch Code.
- Accreditation of the Neighbourhood Watch (Community Safety Act).
- Safety Audits.
This training module is the first step towards developing a comprehensive curriculum for NHWs and is an entry-level or “Basic Training” which is compulsory for all NHWs in the Province. This NHW training is viewed as the “Orientation” phase of NHW training. In the future, DoCS plans to offer training to NHWs to address issues such as first responder training (First Aid Level 1) and basic firefighting training.
Resources for NHWs
All accredited Neighbourhood Watches are issued with a “Starter Kit” that contains the following:
- Reflective vests
- Strobe lights for the vehicles
- Magnetic decals
- A first aid kit
- A fire extinguisher
- Safety whistles
- A storage box
*It should be noted that the “Starter Kit” is a once-off allocation.
The new NHW brand
The DoCS recently set out to transform NHW in the Western Cape. This included changing the brand and creating a strategy to actively recruit more people to become members of their local accredited NHW. Read more about the new strategy, branding and the Neighbourhood Watch Volunteerism Campaign here.
Funding for NHWs
The Department of Community Safety has developed a funding model that will see departmental funds be made available in support of accredited NHWs. A maximum amount of R10 000 is available for each accredited NHW. Payment will be made in 2 instalments and payment will be subject to the terms and conditions set by the Department. This funding will be based on budget availability. Payments will be made when the required documents are received from the NHW. This funding may be used to cover bank charges, administration costs and/or operational support of the NWH structure.
As of 11 April 2019, 302 NHWs across the Western Cape had been formally accredited.
For more information on the NHW Accreditation and Support Programme, please contact:
Neighbourhood Watch helpline
Tel: 021 483 7813
Operating Office Hours: 07:00 – 16:00
If you'd like to set-up a meeting with the NHW Team:
- Members of the public must make an appointment telephonically at (021) 483 7813 / (021) 483 7855 to confirm a date and time.
- Appointments will be scheduled on a first come first serve basis.
- No walk-ins will be allowed as meeting rooms must be arranged in advance.