Neighbourhood watches allowed to operate under level 3
Cape Town – Neighbourhood watches have been given the green light to operate during level 3 of South Africa's Covid-19 lockdown, Western Cape Community Safety MEC Albert Fritz said on Monday.
The groups were barred from patrolling when the country entered the lockdown in late March.
Fritz said that feedback from the national secretary of police stated neighbourhood watches could resume operations under level 3, which kicked in on Monday.
The MEC said that with the Western Cape being the epicentre of the country's Covid-19 infections, neighbourhood watches could assist law enforcement in promoting lockdown regulations.
“The presence of neighbourhood watches will serve to prevent crime," said Fritz.
“During the lockdown, we have seen an increase in vandalism of schools and shop robberies, in rural and urban communities alike.
“I have heard the call of the many neighbourhood watches and community policing forums (CPFs) who have raised their hands and offered their support during this difficult period and am pleased to announce that neighbourhood watches may now operate," he said.
Fritz said his department would ensure the safety of members taking to the streets by providing face masks and hand sanitisers.
Neighbourhood watch members who came into contact with infected residents would not be permitted to operate, he said, and would have to self-quarantine for 14 days.
African News Agency (ANA)