’Tis the season for safety

Angus Mckenzie.

With the festive season in full swing, Bonteheuwel ward councillor Angus Mckenzie said they had implemented strict security measures to ensure that the area was safe this festive season.

He said every day, all Jakes Gerwel Drive entrances into Bonteheuwel were currently being manned by neighbourhood watch volunteers.

“There are currently 20 people who are volunteers – 10 per block – and they will be visible from 5am until 8pm. We hope this will be sufficient. If not, we will add another shift,” said Mr Mckenzie.

He said in the past 13 days, there had been no smash-and-grabs in the past 13 days along Jakes Gerwel Drive which is notorious for smash-and-grab incidents.

He believed this was the result of the safety initiative.

The Bonteheuwel Walking Bus Project, which ensures that children are walked to and from schools safely, will continue during the holidays as many of the volunteers will patrol the schools in the area with the hope to prevent any theft and vandalism or to at least minimise it.

“Last year we did the very same and not one school was vandalised over the holiday period and kids were welcomed back to functioning schools,” he said.

“We again this year will implement this which we are very sure will deliver the same result.”

He also said that neighbourhood watch members had been trained and prepared for the season with consistent patrolling and high visibility in partnership with SAPS and Law Enforcement which would ensure a safer environment for all.

Bishop Lavis police station commander, Brigadier Christopher Jones, said police had increased visibility in the area and had recruited extra neighbourhood watch members to man smash-
and-grab hot spots, railway stations, and malls.

“Extra police members are patrolling and have been doing so since October already. There has also been an increase in stop-and-go roadblocks. We have also increased our home searches for any crime or substance abuse taking place there and follow up on any tip-offs from the community,” he said.

Brigadier Jones also said there would be police presence at schools to prevent or minimise any break-ins.

“We have also embarked on a new type of stop-and-go system where we issue pamphlets to drivers with tips on how to stay safe this festive season,” he said.

These tips include placing all items in the boot and not on the seat while driving, using seatbelts when driving, and notifying the police when going on holiday in order for them to check up on your home.

He also urged parents to practise responsible behaviour and to know where their children were at all times.

“Some parents are partying inside and tell their children to play outside. After many hours they realise their children are missing and report it to the police. Please take care of your children and keep them safe,” he said.

He added that parents should always hold their child’s hand when shopping and urged parents not to leave their children at home unattended.

“Do not go shopping or partying and leave your children at home unattended. They have human rights and many times they are left alone and hungry for hours.”

To report crime, call the SAPS Crime Stop number on 08600 10111 or the City of Cape Town’s Public Emergency Communication Centre 107 from a Telkom landline, or 021 480 7700 from a cellphone or Neotel phone. The centre serves as a single point of entry to all City of Cape Town safety and security services.