More than halfway to extra ‘eyes and ears’ for Somerset West CBD

At the back, from left, are Brian van der Merwe, Tiffany Coetzee, Ausra Houston, Thea Albertyn and Mabel Botha. In front, from left, are Margaret Barnard le Riche, Leigh-Ann Ogilvie, Jedrick Theron and Alisha Scott-le Roux.

The Somerset West Neighbourhood Watch (SWNW), in partnership with Pam Golding Properties in Somerset West, is more than halfway to its target of raising R100 000 for much-needed, strategically-placed cameras to improve safety in the area.

To date, R50 674 has been raised through public donations and pledges from estate agents. The SWNW hopes to install at least 10 more CCTV cameras in the central business district.

Tony Cross, SWNW director, says that while the introduction of the City Improvement District (CID) scheme has gone a long way to reducing crime, the addition of CCTV cameras will significantly boost their crime-fighting efforts. All of the 28 CCTV cameras currently being used in Somerset West were bought with public donations on behalf of the neighbourhood watch.

“They have more than proven their worth over the years; and have helped lead to numerous arrests.” However, as most of these cameras are in residential areas, there has been a lack of similar vigilance in other parts of the town.

The new cameras will include Street Overview and Licence Plate Recognition cameras at key locations.

Mr Cross says: “The cameras will significantly improve the ‘eyes’ of the neighbourhood watch but on their own they will not stop crime; only act as a deterrent. However, by working more closely with the public safety officers contracted to the CBD, it will enable the monitoring of suspicious behaviour and an early reaction to alerts triggered by the camera.”

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