Call for more patrollers to combat crime spike

With only 40 members actively patrolling the area, Plumstead Neighbourhood Watch says it needs more patrollers to combat the recent spike in crime.

Thefts out vehicles, muggings, burglaries and other property-related crimes are on the rise in Plumstead, say the police and neighbourhood watch who are urging residents to help combat crime.

Most of the crimes reported occur between 9pm and midnight, from Thursday to Sunday, according to Diep River police spokesman Sergeant Zak Marais.

Police deployment was determined by daily analysis of crime patterns, and there were frequent joint operations in hot spots, he said.

“Members of the public are encouraged to open criminal cases at SAPS in order to allow investigation to take place and possible linkages via DNA and/or fingerprints.”

Plumstead Neighbourhood Watch operations manager Justin de Vos said they needed more patrollers because although they had more than 1800 registered members, only 40 actively patrolled the streets.

“More patrollers equals more eyes and ears on the streets. Patrollers are volunteers and thus patrol for as long as they are able to, anywhere from one to two hours, or some patrollers do full 10 to 12 hour patrols – all at their own cost.”

The watch, he said, was using visible patrols with SAPS, City Law Enforcement and security firms to prevent crime.

Several licence-plate-recognition cameras have been installed at strategic locations across the suburb and the watch is also considering installing cameras that use artificial intelligence.

“The goal is to use cameras to create a net whereby we can quickly react to suspicious movements before they turn into criminal activities. The camera will allow us to constantly monitor a wide area and react to any issues using an accurate image and description of the alleged perpetrator,” Mr De Vos said.

“The camera project will span over three years and initially start with locations identified as high risk. We will start with high crime areas based on stats and resident reports as well as all the egress and major routes in and out of Plumstead. Eventually we hope to have all roads and all intersections covered by AI cameras. The more residents and businesses that commit and donate towards the cameras mean we can place more cameras at a faster rate.”

The cost for an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) that would allow each camera to work during load shedding had been accounted for, he said.

Prospective patrollers must live in the area, be 18 or older and undergo fingerprint vetting. Contact Mr De Vos at if you are interested. To report any emergencies, suspicious or criminal activity to the watch, call 0860 002 669.