Keeping communities safe from crime requires community involvement. Ordinary men and women can make a massive difference, by joining local community safety organizations that have been set up for that exact purpose.
The comment from armed response company Fidelity ADT comes in the wake of the release of the latest police crime statistics.
Police Minister Bheki Cele addressed journalists on Friday (18 February), announcing the numbers of the third quarter of the 2021/2022 financial year. The latest update showed an 8.9% increase in murder overall and a 3.5% increase in attempted murder compared with a year ago.
“If people are wondering about how they can keep themselves safe from these types of crime, then they should look no further than the organizations that are active right on their doorstep.
“Neighbourhood watches are an integral part of any community, serving as the eyes and ears for police, law enforcement and security companies.
These groups are made up of individuals who sacrifice their time by looking out for their fellow residents, despite often having limited resources at their disposal,” says Charnel Hattingh, Head of Communications and Marketing at Fidelity ADT.
“Community security groups are an integral part of any security network. These individuals volunteer with the motivation to keep a handle on crime in their area.”
Neighbourhood watches play a significant role in crime prevention. Some charge minimum membership fees and others have to fundraise through community events. These fees and fundraisers help in resourcing the watch, but they always require more support to operate.
“An active, well-resourced neighborhood watch will always be of benefit to any area,” says Hattingh.
She says involvement with local crime-awareness initiatives also help residents to become better acquainted with each other. Getting to know your neighbor means we can also better look out for one another.
“Please make contact with your local watch and find out how you can assist them, from volunteering for a patrol to supporting their fundraising drives so that they can buy the equipment they need. The work they do, benefits you and your family.”