Tokai watch on a drive for more cameras

Tokai Neighbourhood Crime Watch committee members, from left, Graham Tait, Laura Lee Burford, Doreen Pears, Liz Newdigate, Geoff Fox and Patrick Yeadon. The watch’s chairman, Ed Bain, spoke by video call at its AGM as he was isolating with Covid.

The Tokai Neighbourhood Crime Watch is continuing with its drive to add more security cameras to those already in place (“Tokai watch pushes for more cameras,” April 15, 2021).

The issue was discussed at the watch’s annual general meeting on Thursday March 24.

Speaking by video call because he was isolating with Covid, chairman Ed Bain said that in the past year they had installed another 20 cameras and had budget for an extra 13.

“We expect that there will be a take up of at least another 15 cameras. If we add the cameras provided by some of the security service providers, we expect to have over 60 analytics cameras in play by the end of the year.”

He said the camera network has contributed to a number of arrests and recovery of stolen goods over the past year. Kirstenhof police were asked to comment on this but did not respond.

Tokai covers eight zones, from Forest Glade in the west to Forest Avenue in the south, Vans and Keysers River roads east of the M3 and Tokai Park to the north.

Mr Bain said Tokai’s network of cameras flagged suspect vehicle and human movement at unexpected times and locations.

A fully installed camera could cost between R6300 and R8500 and there were additional costs to maintain it over time, he said.

The watch need more paid-up members to help cover the costs of maintaining the cameras and other crime-fighting initiatives, he said.

“We aim to cover strategic entrance points in the suburb and will continue with the rollout as streets buy into the idea.”

The watch claims to have 361 households as paid-up members in a suburb of 1 400.

Graham Tait, the watch’s incident manager, said they had recorded 22 residential burglaries last year, down from 24 in 2020. And there had been seven thefts from vehicles, compared to 8 in 2020.

“If you consider we had a total of 59 crime incidents that are broken down by type in 2019, 68 in 2020 and 67 in 2021, the statistics have remained relatively unchanged,” he said.

Mr Bain said many of the crimes were committed by opportunists on foot, jumping walls and going through unlocked or open doors or windows, mostly between 5pm and 8am.

They watch is currently looking for a secretary and an incident manager.

Email for more information about the watch.