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Tackling crime as a community

Milnerton residents came out in numbers to put their heads together and table a plan on how they can fight crime in their area.

The residents who packed the Milnerton Library Auditorium on Thursday 1 August all concluded that they should start the ball rolling on setting up a neighbourhood watch for the area as there currently isn’t one.

The meeting was called because something had to be done about the increasing number of crime-related incidents happening in the Milnerton central area.

Residents who came to the meeting were mostly concerned about home invasions and robberies.

Though the meeting was an informal one, residents shared their concerns and they all came up with ways to keep their houses, families and area safe.

Heading the meeting was Leon Heyns, who deals with the safety and security for the Milnerton Central Residents’ Association. 

Heyns said crime concerns everyone and they all, as residents had to make a plan to work together and see how they can make the area safer for themselves, adding that the area has not reached a crisis point when it comes to crime.

“I’m just a resident like all of you sitting here. I want my kids to play in the park, to be safe, cycle and not be worried about any-thing and this is what most of you also want,” he said.

Part of the meeting’s objectives was to improve communication as neighbours, get everyone involved and Heyns says their biggest challenge was apathy.

“We want everyone to come out and be the eyes and ears of the community. ADT, Crime Watch SA, Milnerton Crime Watch Trust can only do so much. Safety and security is a collective effort, safety does not rest on one man’s hands. 

We all have to be involved, be awake and be prepared to do our bit,” he says.

One of the residents who identified himself as Matthew said his issue was a lack of dissemination of information, especially from the police. 

“There are several concerning issues and when you say this is not a crisis, then I don’t want to be here when crisis hits. 

“This is a crisis and it is getting progressively worse. 

“We have the right to know what is happening in our area and what times things happen,” he said.

Another resident Hillary said they need a dotted map outlining houses that have been affected with crime. “We want to know what time they strike, we want to know the modus operandi. We want to know how we must avoid this. We want to get detailed information on how we can protect ourselves,” she said.

Drawing to the close of the meeting, residents agreed to meet again on Thursday 15 August at the same place at 19:00 to start the neighbourhood watch in their area.

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