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Hands up in the fight against crime

Striving to rid the community of crime and create a safer environment for children to enjoy, a local neighbourhood watch provided little ones with an opportunity to have their voices heard and speak out against crime especially through unique decorative activity.

The Victoria Park Neighbourhood Watch embarked on a special initiative which entailed capturing the handprints of children from the residential area on a prominent wall in the community. The initiative, held last Saturday (5 May), saw children as young as nine months old and teenagers slapping their paint-covered hands under the headline “Stop Crime” on a white vibracrete wall near the play area on the corner of Folkstone Crescent.

The neighbourhood watch will launch its newly established base station in Folkstone Crescent later this week.

According to George Kruger, Victoria Park Neighbourhood Watch deputy chairperson, the inspiration behind the initiative was allowing the community’s children who are regarded the most vulnerable and who need to feel safe, to take a stand.

“Victoria Park is not just a small community, we are a family – a family of which children are an important part of, and we wanted to give them the opportunity to make their voices heard. As the neighbourhood watch we want to see that we call our community a home for all to live in,” he said.

Kruger said the significance of the initiative engaged in by members of the neighbourhood watch, security providers Vetus Schola and Helderberg Crime Watch (HCW), and residents, was the support. He regarded the support offered in aid of the initiative by the community for their children as remarkable.

“Safety is our main objective – no politics and no games,” Kruger explained. “We are here to work hand-in-hand with local police, Vetus Schola and HCW to keep families safe. This milestone was achieved mainly because of the support from the community and sponsors.

“Our patrollers are always willing to go the extra mile in aid of others’ safety. The neighbourhood watch does not get government funding and no membership fees are charged. But, with the little resources at hand, we have been able to achieve so much. This is so because we remain focused on what’s important – safety.”

Kruger implored the community to “listen to your children, our future, and support the neighbourhood watch and stand up against crime.”

The neighbourhood watch will launch its new base station at its location tomorrow (Friday 11 May) at 18:00. Special guests include provincial minister for Community Safety Dan Plato, local ward councillor Gregory Peck and Somerset West Community Police Forum chairperson Billy Smith.

Kruger expressed the collective excitement for the official launch of a place where neighbourhood watch members can engage in planning and offer assistance and support to community members.

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