Appeal for crime-fighting tools

The Silvertown Neighbourhood Watch needs the communitys help to keep them afloat.

The Silvertown Neighbourhood Watch is appealing to the community to help them in the fight against crime.

The neighbourhood watch was started a year ago to unite residents and create awareness about issues affecting the area.

Coordinator and fundraising committee member, Fatima Hendricks, said while crime in the area has decreased since then, the abuse of drugs and house break-ins persist.

“Drugs are a major problem in this area and it’s mainly our youth that use it. I think the main reason for this is unemployment. We’ve also been experiencing gang members from other communities coming into our area and making trouble here. We have to escort them out of the area.”

Ms Hendricks said the residents communicate with the neighbourhood watch via a WhatsApp group which is vital for the spread of information.

“There has also been an increase in drugs being sold to children at school. Rumour has it that there is also a thing called ‘dial a drug’ and they phone these people to bring them drugs at school. Every day we have to deal with unsavoury people walking into our area and we have to walk them out and they just come back again.”

There are 19 men and women neighbourhood watch members who patrol every night.

“Our old aged homes are also suffering because the druggies use these lanes to smoke their drugs and make a noise and the seniors call us to sort it out because they cannot sleep at night,” said Ms Hendricks.

She said another major issue is that school children have been robbed on their way to school. “We are facing a lot of challenges and it is dangerous but we have to do it, we don’t have a choice. It’s a good thing that we are doing for the community.

“The problem is that parents know what their children are doing. They need to step up and do something about it. When we catch them they run onto their homes and we don’t have jurisdiction to go in. Then they stand there and look at us and smile and they have the stuff on them.”

Ms Hendricks said the neighbourhood watch wass in need of equipment such as torches, two way radios and rain jackets for the upcoming winter season.

The Silvertown neighbourhood watch will be hosting a dance fundraiser on Friday April 27 at Athlone High School, from 9pm until 1am. Tickets are R50 a person. Take your own platters and drinks. For more information call Shahied on 067 008 3829.