Nominations open for NHW awards

JP Smith

Neighbourhood watches have until the end of the month to submit nominations for the annual Neighbourhood Watch Awards.

The awards will honour accredited watches and their members who went beyond the call of duty last year.

The deadline for nominations is Wednesday January 31.

The finalists will be notified on Monday February 12 and invited to the ceremony, which is on Friday February 23.

JP Smith, mayoral committee member for safety and security; and social services, said watches were “force multipliers” in the fight against crime and helped to build safer communities.

“The members of the neighbourhood watches dedicate their time and often some of their own resources towards ensuring that criminals do not become comfortable in our City,” he said.

“Over the last decade, the City has invested millions of rands to train volunteers and provide neighbourhood-watch organisations with equipment like jackets, torches, bicycles, hand radios and radio base stations for their watch rooms and has partnered with these organisations to install and share information between CCTV camera networks.”

The City, he said, had made that investment because of the “positive impact” watches had in their communities.

The Department of Community Safety signed a pact with the City in September agreeing to coordinated support for accredited watches.

MEC Dan Plato said it had helped to give “legal legitimacy” to accredited watches in the province.

Almost 200 watches in the province have been accredited.

How to nominate

* Only watch members or teams that are accredited or have submitted applications for accreditation can be nominated.

* Nominations can only be submitted online until Wednesday January 31, at 5pm.

* Late and email nominations will not be accepted.

* Evidence must be submitted to support the nomination.

* Anyone can nominate an individual member or an entire watch. You can also nominate the same person or team for more than one award category, but individual nominations must be submitted for each of them.

Mr Plato said the categories recognised patrolling, working with emergency services, helping with social issues, working with schools, and other typical watch duties.

“Every single contribution is valuable. We encourage every resident of the Western Cape to support and participate in their local accredited neighbourhood watch.”

Send an email to Neighbourhood. Watch@westerncape.gov.za, or NHW.awards@capetown.gov.za for more information.