'Neighbourhood watches are vital'

Helen Zille on neighbourhood watch patrol, doing her 67 minutes for Mandela day. Picture: Twitter via@njclelland

CAPE TOWN - A local community leader said on Friday he believes neighbourhood watch groups are integral in the fight against crime, especially in gang-ridden areas.

Turf wars have been in the spotlight following clashes between rival gangs in Hanover Park and Lavender Hill.

Llewelyln Jordaan said neighbourhood watch groups raise awareness and provide residents with safety tips.

“When we speak about neighbourhood watches, especially when gang violence is rife, I think the role of the neighbourhood watch is not to do the policing side, but rather to focus on crime prevention.”

He said these groups must have a solid relationship with police officials.

“We need to comply with the regulations of the South African Police Service (SAPS) which means we need to corroborate and notify the local police station so that they have the necessary back-up from the police side.”

Meanwhile, several people have been killed in gang related incidents in the past few months.

(Edited by Tamsin Wort)