Cameras work for neighbourhood watch

From left Jade Hanning, of ADT, and Har-lyn Neighbourhood Watch committee members Hallam Ford,Derek Bluck, and Nick Roberts.

Licence-plate-recognition cameras and geospatial mapping are some of the hi-tech tools Har-Lyn Neighbourhood watch is using to gather crime data and keep criminals out of Harfield and Claremont.

The watch’s annual general meeting earlier this month heard how 13 cameras feed number-plate data to a control centre at N1 City, recording where and when vehicles come through the area.

The software – installed in
February – flagged suspects’ cars and showed what they were
wanted for, said the watch’s Hallam Ford.

The watch says it has 1 350 members and 104 patrollers, but it wants 3 000 members and 200 patrollers to best keep the area’s 6 000-odd residents safe.

Watch chairman Derek Bluck said members’ monthly contributions equipped new patrollers with a radio, Har-Lyn Jacket, ID card, pepper spray and vehicle logos.

While the LPR cameras reduced crime, it was just as important, he said, to have a strong neighbourhood watch, eyes and ears in the road and visible policing.

The watch’s registered patrollers are using the Locstat application, which tracks their movements and uses geospatial mapping to record the types and locations of crime in the area, to help with crime analysis.

Melissa Grey, of Community Medics, said the NPO was helping with medical emergencies in the area and can be called at 087 230 0404.

The watch’s committee remains unchanged, with chairperson Derek Bluck, acting chairperson Penny Owen, treasurer Doreen Chaplin, secretary Alexia McCoy, and members Nick Roberts and Bronwyn Thompson.