Hi Lianne, tells about your position with the project and how long you've been involved?
"I'm the secretary/ administrator of the projetcs and have held these position since August 2014 when I first got involved." So what drove you to get involved with your Neighbourhood Watch?
I PICKED UP ON A COMMENT ON THE COMMUNITY FACEBOOK PAGE, AND ASKED HOW TO GET MORE INFORMATION AND WHAT I COULD DO TO ASSIST. ONCE ON BOARD, I DISCOVERED JUST HOW MUCH I’D BEEN MISSING OUT ON NOT BEING A MEMBER - CRIME REPORTS, GETTING TO KNOW NEIGHBOURS, SECURITY ASPECTS AND SHORTFALLS, ETC. I ALSO DISCOVERED JUST MUCH A NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN AN AREA WITH JUST A FEW SHORT HOURS A MONTH VOLUNTEERING, AND DOING MY BIT IN THE COMMUNITY. I WANT TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN THE AREA, AND HOPEFULLY BRING COMMUNITY MEMBERS TOGETHER.
What would you say has been a driving factor behind the success of your project?
TEAMWORK! IT’S ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE TO GET ANYTHING DONE IF EVERYONE INVOLVED DOESN’T PLAY THEIR PART. I ALSO FIRMLY BELIEVE IN SHARING AS MUCH INFORMATION AS POSSIBLE - YES, IT MAY SCARE SOME PEOPLE, BUT IT MOTIVATES THE MAJORITY TO GET INVOLVED AND MAKE A DIFFERENCE.
Why do you feel NHW’s are an important part of safety and security in South Africa?
NHW’S ARE “ON THE GROUND”, ALWAYS IN AND AROUND THE AREA AND KNOW WHAT SHOULD AND SHOULDN’T BE THERE. UNFORTUNATELY, WITH THE CURRENT SAPS ISSUES, THEY CANNOT BE RELIED ON TO BE VISIBLE IN THE AREA. SO IT’S UP TO US, AS NHW MEMBERS, TO BE VISIBLE, BE ALERT TO ACTIVITIES IN THE AREA, AND KEEP EACH OTHER SAFE. NHW ALWAYS HAS PEOPLE AROUND, SO WHEN THERE IS AN INCIDENT OR SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITY REPORT, SOMEONE IS ABLE TO QUICKLY GET ON SCENE AND INVESTIGATE AND, IF NECESSARY, CALL THE NECESSARY RESOURCES.
We see you've had some fantastic successes in your area since the project started and the difference is now being felt. Do you have any words of wisdom for watches out there that are just starting up?
KEEP GOING, EVEN WHEN IT SEEMS NOTHING IS CHANGING AND YOU’RE FIGHTING AN UPHILL BATTLE!
What challenges does your NHW face on a week to week basis?
OUR MAJOR CHALLENGE IS THE LACK OF SUPPORT FROM LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES. THERE HAVE BEEN A NUMBER OF OCCASIONS WHEN ASSISTANCE HAS BEEN REQUIRED WHEN A CRIME HAS BEEN WITNESSED, AND QUICK RESPONSE WOULD HAVE LED TO ARRESTS ETC, BUT NO ONE ARRIVES. IT CAN ALSO BE CHALLENGING WHEN EVERYONE DOESN’T PLAY THEIR PART, MANY RELYING ON A FEW TO DO WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE.