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.
“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,” says Fidelity ADT’s National Marketing and Communications Manager, Charnel Hattingh.
Many of the volunteers still have their own day jobs, but then work patrol shifts after hours or over weekends.
“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,” explains Hattingh.
According to Hattingh, there are many resources required to run a successful neighbourhood watch operation. These resources help keep both the community and the patrollers safe, and include items such as reflective gear, two-way radios, flashlights, and CCTV cameras.
Many private security companies are ready and willing to work with neighbourhood watch groups, an offer which Hattingh hopes more communities will make use of.
“The police simply cannot be everywhere, all the time. An active, well-resourced neighbourhood watch will always be of benefit to any area,” says Hattingh.
Hattingh says involvement with local crime-awareness initiatives also help residents to become better acquainted with each other. Getting to know your neighbour means we can also better look out for one another.
“We commend all neighbourhood watches and acknowledge the valuable contributions they make every day. 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,” concludes Hattingh.