Protecting our community

Seen during the unveiling of the LECS neighbourhood watch boards are Moulana Mohamed Tariq, Community Policing Forum’s Umesh Singh, Phoenix SAPS Colonel Teddy Munusamy, Pundit Surejh Singh, LECS chairman Mr Loven and members of the LECS neighbourhood watch committee.

Despite the inclement weather, the Lenham, Esselen, Crimlen, Silven (LECS) neighbourhood watch, aimed to support crime-fighting efforts in these areas, was successfully launched at Silven Place Park on Saturday.

The event was also held in partnership with Mother’s Day celebration and local mothers were treated with gifts, vouchers and a sumptuous meal. The event commenced with a motorcade and the unveiling of neighbourhood watch boards around Lenham, Esselen, Crimlen and Silven.

Gracing the event were members of the four communities, religious leaders, community policing forum members, various security companies and Phoenix SAPS members.

The neighbourhood watch consists of 40 members, who work tirelessly to eradicate crime in their communities.  The organisation started in January and has grown in leaps and bounds.

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According to LECS liaison officer/spokesman, Mark Nadaseen, the neighbourhood watch started off with an informal meeting behind the block of flats, where ideas and solutions on fighting crime in the community were exchanged and those ideas have since being turned into action.

The ensemble, also consisting of working mothers, fathers and young men and women, come back from work and put on their neighbourhood watch gear and patrol the streets while others are enjoying a good sleep. Nadaseen said the neighborhood watch has been instrumental in wiping out water pipe, house carpets and motor vehicle tyres theft in the neighborhood.

Speaking at the event, Community Policing Forum chairman in the Phoenix and eThekwini outer North Cluster, Umesh Singh, commended LECS, saying that it is initiatives like these that can curb the levels of crime for everyone.

“This partnership is very crucial. SAPS alone cannot fight crime but they constantly require the assistance of members of the public to rely on information that can help them fight the scourge. For instance, everyone is aware that Phoenix is riddled with drugs and having members of the public calling with information has made a tremendous difference in the drug problem in Phoenix. If you as residents know of something, inform us so that something can be done,” said Singh.

Singh appealed to attendees to support LECS and not destroy this initiative which was formed to protect and support the community.

High priest of Aleemia Mosque, Moulana Mohamed Tariq, Jagrati Naliyawak Sangh Pundit Suresh Singh and Pastor Naicker pledged their support as religious leaders.

Phoenix SAPS colonel, Teddy Munusamy described the neighborhood watch as merely the extension of the eyes and ears of the police. Col Munusamy said the recent spate of crimes like hijackings, robberies and house break-ins has highlighted a great need to improve connection between the community and the police.

Col Munusamy also touched on the issue of vigilantism. With most home invasion crimes involving lone elderly, Col Munusamy also urged LECS members to watch over old people. “If you do not see your elderly neighbour for one day, start to enquire immediately and inform the police,” he said.

LECS chairman, Mr Loven who started the initiative pointed out that an important factor in fighting crime is community policing.

“The reason why I initiated this was because to protect my family too and I am expecting you to come out and protect your family. We want the community to support us in order to make this work. Pledging a couple of few hours in your life can make a big difference.  As we continue to ramp up the crime-fighting efforts, we are calling you as residents to join us,” said Loven.

Loven said as members of LECS, they are into partnership-building and have already begun with working with several of local security companies. The event culminated with a cake cutting for all the mothers and music and dance items.

Mbali Khubisa

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