Businesses boost neighbourhood watch team

Bethelsdorp Deputy Community Policing Forum chairwoman Karen Kemp and West End Community Neighbourhood Watch patroller Roy Kemp show off some of the items handed over by Station Commander, Brigadier Zolani Xawuka
Picture: Supplied

Bethelsdorp neighbourhood watch patrollers were given equipment worth R20 000 after businesses teamed up to supply them with the gear they need to fight crime.

Several businesses in the area supplied torches, clothing, whistles, reflective vests, identification badges and batteries.

The neighbourhood watch forms part of the Community Policing Forum (CPF), which works closely with the police to curb crime.

Police spokeswoman Captain Sandra Janse van Rensburg said among the challenges patrollers experienced were a lack of street lighting and residents being unable to identify who were patrollers.

“The torches will assist with the lighting issue and reflective bibs will help residents to identify the patrollers,” she said.

Station commander Brigadier Zolani Xawuka said the donation drive had been spearheaded by the station’s detective commander, Dawie Scholtz, who had spotted the patrollers walking the beat during the early hours.

“The detectives were doing routine searches for wanted suspects when they saw a group of patrollers walking the beat,” he said.

“The detectives stopped to talk to them and saw they had no torches or anything to identify them as community police members.

“The CPF, with the backing of the detectives, approached businesses in the area.”

Deputy CPF chairwoman and patrol coordinator Karen Kemp, 43, who has been involved with the CPF since 2007, said: “We are very grateful and without a doubt this equipment will enable us to do the job.”

Cluster commander Major-General Funeka Siganga said the donation showed that both business and residents supported the fight against crime.

“These donations will go a long way in allowing the residents to assist us with fighting crime,” she said.

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