The City of Cape Town’s Law Enforcement Department is once again recruiting volunteers for its Auxiliary Service and is calling on accredited Neighbourhood Watch members who meet the criteria and who have an interest in the programme to apply.
The City’s Law Enforcement Department has enjoyed great success with its Law Enforcement Auxiliary Programme since its inception in 2013, with one of its latest successes taking place on Friday, 26 August.
‘The volunteers in Area North were conducting autonomous patrols in Edgemead when a vehicle drove directly towards them on the wrong side of the road. The officers managed to avert a collision and proceeded to pull the intoxicated driver over. He was arrested and breathalysed, where his blood alcohol level showed he was about five times over the legal limit. He was detained at Bothasig Police Station. Their contribution to ensuring our streets and suburbs are safer is invaluable,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, Alderman JP Smith.
Volunteers who sign up for the programme undergo a rigorous vetting process before being trained in the Criminal Procedure Act and other components applicable to their duties at the City’s Safety and Security Training College.
They are required to work a minimum of 16 hours per month (after hours and on weekends) under the guidance of permanent Law Enforcement staff until successful completion of the field training programme, which will allow the volunteer to operate autonomous. The City boast a compliment of 112 volunteers to date.
‘Our volunteers expand the capacity of the City’s Law Enforcement Department, and we never have a shortage of Neighbourhood Watch members willing to give of their time and energy. It’s an indication that our residents are committed to a safer city for everyone. Successful recruits are also able to bolster their neighbourhood watch structures with the powers of a peace officer, which further strengthens safety within their own communities,’ said Alderman Smith.
Prospective volunteers must be a member of their Neighbourhood Watch and have to meet the following criteria:
• Must be over 18 years old
• No criminal record and no pending cases
• Must not be declared unfit to possess a firearm.
• Must be a committed NW member
• Must be gainfully employed
• Must have a valid motor vehicle license
• Must be able-bodied and complete a physical assessment
• Must pass the cognitive assessment test
• Must be able to attend after-hours classes during the week and weekends for a period of two months or more, depending on the programme.
‘In the meantime, work is continuing to develop a framework that will allow us to train and appoint volunteer support officers.
These would be individuals who are Neighbourhood Watch members who do not meet the criteria to be a uniformed volunteer but who can provide administrative support to Law Enforcement. We are committed to upskilling our community safety structures and the many dedicated individuals in those structures, many of whom spend countless hours on the streets patrolling their communities. This support comes in the form of our Neighbourhood Watch support programme, but also the volunteer opportunities that exist within Law Enforcement,’ added Alderman Smith.