Kenridge seeks volunteer patrollers

LIZAHN WENTZEL

The Kenridge The Hills Ratepayers’ Association (KHRPA) is calling on residents to come forward and volunteer as community patrollers, to help combat crime in the area.

This was discussed during a recent meeting as well as the idea of having members from the neighbourhood watches trained to become auxiliary law enforcement officers.

KHRPA chairman, Geordie Hogarth, said they would need to recruit neighbourhood watch members from the area but added that they would explore their options.

“We need to find people who are willing to sacrifice their time. This will help to improve visibility in the area and reduce crime, as these auxiliary officers are allowed to make arrests.”

Auxiliary law enforcement officers perform the same uniform patrol duties as full-time officers. They undergo training through the City of Cape Town and on completion they receive a certificate.

Mr Hogarth said this would also help improve the reaction times to petty crimes in the area, especially with winter fast approaching.

“It is getting dark earlier and we are seeing an increase in suspicious activity. The police would have to come out to get the suspects that were arrested.”

Kenridge Neighbourhood Initiative (KNI) liaison officer Natalie Buttress, however, says their focus for now is on recruiting more patrollers. KHRPA currently has two security divisions in the area, one is a paid service (KNI) and the volunteer patrollers.

“We currently only have 30 patrollers, who give up most of their free time to make the community a safer place. We would like the community to become more involved and to reduce the demand on the current patrollers.”

Ms Buttress says the crime in the area comes in waves.

“It all depends on how active a certain area is, when the criminals see the patrollers they tend to move on. The crime in the area is up and down, one week they’ll target several houses and the next none.”

KHRPA member Tina Schilling says they are looking forward to having a few members who are trained to assist with various issues such as speeding, not stopping at stop streets, racing through the suburbs, and homeless people living in parks.

“We find that the current law enforcement officers are few and far between and cannot always cope.”

Ms Buttress is calling on residents to come forward and become volunteer patrollers.

“It also gives neighbours an opportunity to come into contact with one another. It helps to build better relations and being part of the patrollers, you always have someone looking out for you and your home.”

* Visit their website on www. kenridgeratepayers.co.za for more information.