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26 July 2011 at 22:15 - Posted by Anonymous

Mitchell's Plain turns it around - so can you


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The Mitchells Plain Neighbourhood Watch Association's chairperson Amien Safter agreed that visible patrolling was an effective crime deterrent.

The association monitors the 12 policing sectors of Mitchells Plain and has expanded its focus from crime prevention to include focusing on residents' safety within the central business district, a child rapid response unit, liquor control, safer schools programmes and hotspot patrols.

The hotspot patrols, which operate from 4am to 8am and 4.30pm to 8.30pm each day, ensure that there is high visibility at taxi ranks, bus stops and train stations.

According to Abe Isaacs, chairman of the Community Police Forum (CPF), which governs the association: "The alignment of the crime-fighting structures has led to a huge decline in crime in Mitchells Plain. The neighbourhood watch works with the law enforcement agencies.

"We still face challenges but there is a decrease in contact crimes," said Isaacs.

Community Safety spokesman Makhaya Mani said neighbourhood watches all fell under the Community Police Forums and that the conditions of the watch had to be predetermined by the police.

"It is the best way to involve people in the fight against crime and it works successfully. They operate within the ambit of the police station.

"Neighbourhood watches have helped reduce crime. In most cases the residents know the area well and have valuable information to give to the police to help them exercise their duties and plan their strategies."

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