New neighbourhood watch in Masi

On Tuesday November 14, the new Masiphumelele Neighbourhood Watch received its accreditation certificate. From left are Lieutenant Colonel Muller; watch members Siyasanga Dubula, Andile Matshanda, Siyambulela Makambi, Thandaza Ntshinga, Mthandazeli Dubula, Phelisa Makambi and Amanda Klaasen; Sergeant Msa Myaleni, and Ocean View CPF chairman Mansoer Ismail.

A new neighbourhood watch in Masiphumelele now has the official backing of the provincial Department of Police Oversight and Community Safety.

The Masiphumelele Neighbourhood Watch was formed at the beginning of September and has 18 members. It received its accreditation certificate from the department on Tuesday November 14.

Ocean View police chief Lieutenant Colonel Rewayne Muller welcomed the development.

“Neighbourhood watch groups play a pivotal role in our crime-prevention strategy. For instance, our patrollers accompany people to bus and taxi routes in the morning. Their visible presence acts as a deterrent, significantly reducing the likelihood of criminal incidents. It’s important to recognise the value they bring to our community.“

Some in the community also felt more comfortable about reporting information to a neighbourhood watch than to the police, he said.

“Information is our intelligence, and without it, policing becomes challenging. Starting with concerns within their immediate vicinity allows these groups to address issues like domestic violence, which might otherwise go unnoticed.”

Watch chairman Themba Solani said: “Even though we received our certificates this month, we have been doing patrols every day since September and have seen that crime in the area is notably lower than before. I believe this shift is attributed to the vigilance and collective effort of our watch.

“We also have a WhatsApp community group, which feeds into our neighbourhood watch.”

He thanked Lieutenant Colonel Muller and Sergeant Msa Myaleni, the Masiphumelele sector commander for Ocean View SAPS, for their support.

Ward councillor Patricia Francke met with the watch, Lieutenant Colonel Muller and Sergeant Myaleni on Wednesday November 15 to discuss ways to promote the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children Campaign in Ocean View and Masiphumelele.

“The focus of the campaign includes raising awareness on crucial issues such as addressing drug problems within families, emphasising the importance of abstaining from alcohol during pregnancy to protect unborn babies, highlighting the services provided by the Ocean View SAPS trauma room, and promoting community awareness, rehabilitation, and education services,” she said.