Tokai watch pushes for more cameras

The Tokai Neighbourhood Crime Watch committee, from left, are Doreen Pears, Patrick and Liz Yealdon, Laura Burford, chairman Ed Bain, Liz Newdigate and Rowan Mills.

The Tokai Neighbourhood Crime Watch is pushing to have more security cameras set up in the neighbourhood.

The issue was discussed at the watch’s annual general meeting on Monday April 12.

Tokai, like much of the Constantia valley, has a network of licence-plate recognition cameras that monitor vehicular movement and flag suspect vehicles. The watch says the network has contributed to a number of arrests over the past year.

Incoming chairman Ed Bain said there were now cameras that flagged human movement at unexpected times and locations. The cameras could also be used for playback, tracking of suspects and virtual patrolling.

The alerts were monitored and, once verified, a response could be sent to that area to find suspects.

There were three such cameras on the perimeter of Tokai and another five within the suburb, but more were needed, he said.

The watch wants people to act as street and zone coordinators, motivating their neighbours to fund more cameras.

Watch subscriptions would be used for ongoing maintenance, monitoring and licensing of all cameras owned by the watch, Mr Bain said.

A fully installed camera was about R6 300 or R8 500 for a camera on a pole, he said.

In her report as acting chairwoman, Doreen Pears said the watch had missed its AGM last year due to the Covid-19 lockdown. She said visible patrolling showed an active watch and she presented regular patroller Mike Marsden with a gift.

Mr Bain said the watch had record 25 “incidents” in the first quarter of 2021, compared to 47 in the same period last year. He stressed the importance of reporting all incidents, including footprints left behind by a trespasser and beam alerts.

Mr Bain asked residents to report overgrown roadside vegetation, broken street lights, law breakers and the homeless to the watch, municipality or police.

He appealed to residents to put their bins out early in the morning on the day of collection and not the night before. “There’s a trend of crime taking place between 3am and 4am on the day of waste collection,” he said.

Email for more information about the watch.