Neighbourhood Watches can Curb School Vandalism | Western Cape Government


Neighbourhood Watches can Curb School Vandalism

22 September 2009
The scarcity of resources experienced by some neighbourhood watch organisations in Cape Town may have resulted in a solution that will curb vandalism at the metropole's many schools.

The recently established Tuscany Crime Watch in Tuscany Glen, near Delft, has reached an agreement with the Tuscany Glen High School to use the school premises to set up its headquarters.

"This agreement is a double edged sword," says Cllr JP Smith, the City's Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security. "The challenging part of setting up a neighbourhood watch is to find the resources to ensure a sustainable organisation. With the school as headquarters, the neighbourhood watch now offers protection to the school against vandalism - even during school holidays."

The City of Cape Town's Neighbourhood Watch Task Team, a joint venture between the City and the South African Police Services, is driving the establishment of neighbourhood watches across the metropole and has recommended to the municipality that it provides funds for this purpose.

The Mayoral Project Budget last year granted R80 000 towards the establishment of the first five pilot neighbourhood watches. Based on the success of the pilot project the City has agreed to grant R120 000 for the establishment of six further neighbourhood watches. The six are: Heideveld, Ocean View, Bothasig, Electric City, Beacon Valley and VPUU (Violence Prevention through Urban Upgrading) in Khayelitsha.

"The City's funding is used to provide the approved neighbourhood watches with powerful rechargeable torches, reflective bibs, rotating amber lights for patrol vehicles, where needed, as well as the printing and translation of training manuals.

Other areas that have benefited are: Brooklyn/Ysterplaat, Ocean View, Tuscany Glen, Maitland and a small part of Beacon Valley.

The Task Team ensures that the new neighbourhood watches get started and receive ongoing support including the training of members by the City and the Provincial Department of Community Safety. A partner, the International Alliance of Guardian Angels, provides training that covers foot patrols, applicable legislation, recognition of crime generators, removal of graffiti, reduction in gangs and drug suppliers as well as behavioural self defence.

"The aim is to complete the establishment of these new neighbourhood watches within the next three months," says Cllr Smith.

Issued by:
Communication Department
City of Cape Town

Media Enquiries: 

Councillor JP Smith
Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security
Tel: 021 400 1311
Cell: 083 675 3780