RESIDENTS from a small community are fed up with criminals “making their lives hell”.
Mount View has been plagued with various crimes, including robberies, car break-ins and house burglaries. The community established their own neighbourhood watch to curb criminal activity.
The neighbourhood watch started in October last year and has 30 members.
Chairperson of the Mount View Neighbourhood Watch, Yusuf Davids says at first he didn’t want to believe there was so much crime in the area.
“I’ve lived in the area for over 20 years and I’ve always heard people complain about crime and I always thought they were overreacting because this area is very quite. It was when my bakkie was stolen that I really started taking note.”
Residents say, criminals supposedly from Hanover Park prey on youngsters and the elderly.
“These criminals come from other areas and steal and we are trying our best to stop that from happening. We want to protect the people of Mount View and take back our streets,” says Davids.
Gulzaar Khatieb who is a member of the neighbourhood watch, is determined to positively contribute to his community. He gets up early every morning to patrol.
“I care for this community so much and I will protect it any way I can. At the end of the day everyone works hard to be able to afford assets, then some criminal comes and takes what we have worked so hard for, it’s not fair,” he says.
A resident, who does not want to be named, says the neighbourhood watch has helped immensely.
“It is definitely quieter in terms of criminal activity. They are making a change in this community,” he says.
Despite the neighbourhood watch’s success over the past few months, they have concerns regarding police involvement.
“We want police to be more visible in the area. Their response time is extremely poor. We had a few incidents where we needed the police desperately but either they came late or didn’t pitch at all,” says Davids.
In response to this, Lansdowne Station Commander Lieutenant Levona Januari says: “Many times police vehicles are not available because they are out on other urgent calls.”
“We have had discussions with the neighbourhood watch and I have even given them my personal number for when they have response problems. Ideally, they can call the shift commander or the sector commander so that their calls can be properly dealt with and standby officers can respond to their calls.
“The neighbourhood watch plays a big role because they strengthen policing and we appreciate their assistants.”
The neighbourhood watch also wants to swell its ranks.
“We desperately want more people to join the neighbourhood watch. We know that not everyone has the time to do so but even if they just come and patrol once a week or whenever they are able to, it will help immensely,” says Davids.
“If you are not able to patrol with us, feel free to donate equipment.”
At the moment the neighbourhood watch’s only equipment is borrowed two-way radios.
“We want to thank Ebrahiem Hoosien for the radios he borrowed us but we need more equipment and this is where Mount View residents can play a role. We need radios, jackets, torches, batons and any other equipment that can be used to strengthen the neighbourhood,” says Davids.
If you want to help the neighbourhood watch email to firstname.lastname@example.org