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A seat down with Neighbourhood Watch members

Iliso lomzi Neighborhood Watch from barcelona informal settlement in Gugulethu. One of many affiliates of IGUNYA NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH GROUPS FEDERATION, has been in existence since the early 2000s having seen its residents being victims and targets of crime such as robberies and house break-ins. Current membership of 38 volunteers. The group has an active accreditation status with the Western Cape Provincial Government and works very closely with the local police in efforts to fight and reduce crime.

These volunteers have made public safety their main priority hence they dedicate the time to be visible on the streets half of the day. In the morning, start from 4am until 9am to escort people to the main roads to catch public transport as well as operating a pedestrian crossing mostly for school kids. Afternoon, start from 2pm until 5pm helping out with pedestrian crossing when schools come out and visibility. Evening patrols, start from 9pm up until the streets are quiet and seem safer. An avarage of 11 hours per day dedicated towards public safety.

The group of safety volunteers are the hope of the community especially the informal settlements where even police vehicles can't patrol properly as there are so many inaccessible areas due to lack of proper and wider roads. However the group is also faced with a challenge of patrolling during winter season after a rainy day as the entire area becomes muddy and slippery which could easily cause injuries. Because the group is dedicated, the situation is not allowed to hault its visibility patrols on the streets.

The group understands even though their work is community volunteerism to ensure they get rid of crime from their immediate area, it is difficult under winter and early hours of the mornings out in the cold to operate without proper warm jackets as the one which are provided by the Provincial and Local government are not warm enough.

Iliso lomzi Neighborhood Watch is grateful to be affiliates to IGUNYA NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH GROUPS FEDERATION as it is beneficial for the sharing of resources, ideas and operational strategies.

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