23 Apr 2015 - HBNW celebrates 10 Years... and counting!
Last nights event at La Cuccina was a fitting celebration to acknowledge the 10 years of existence of HBNW and to honour those who have kept HBNW going all these years. With several past Chairpersons on hand to celebrate the occasion, past Chairperson Julie Banham and her team put together a most enjoyable evening. A surprise special guest was Captain Gerhard van den Bergh who introduced the concept of a neighbourhood watch to Hout Bay in 2005. At the time he warned that he had seen similar projects started and had then seen the enthusiasm fade away after a couple of months. He made it very clear that “A community Neighbourhood Watch is not a short-term project, it’s a way of life – and the day you stop is the day that crime returns”. Well, after 10 years HBNW is still around - stronger in membership numbers than ever.
Lieutenant-Colonel Bongani Mtakati, Hout Bay SAPS station commander and a contingent from Hout Bay SAPS were also in attendance, as were Matthew Rosenberg, CEO of HBVEMS with some of the hardworking EMS volunteers.
Above: Past & Present - HBNW Chairs: Keith Fawcett, Dennis Steggink, Matt Mercer, Frith Stables, Ron Duff, Julie Banham with Capt. Gerhard van den Bergh. (Absent: Anthony Chemaly, Colin Enzer, Rob Paterson)
The Bruce Taylor Award, which is given each year to the person who, by popular vote of the HBNW members, is deemed to have made a meaningful contribution to neighbourhood watch, was won this year by JJ de Villiers.
Left: Dennis Steggink, 2015/2016 Chairperson of HBNW, seen with this years Bruce Taylor Award winner, JJ de Villiers. See Gallery for more Pics>>
At last nights HBNW AGM Capt Jacques Lourens of Hout Bay SAPS thanked the HBNW for assisting SAPS to fight crime in Hout Bay. Without the support of regular patrollers, SSPs and alert residents who report suspicious behaviour to Watchcon, SAPS would have a much more difficult task. Capt Lourens then gave a brief overview of the Crime Figures for Hout Bay for the year April 2014 to March 2015. The good news is that, except for contact crime (rapes, muggings etc.) where there were more reported cases during this past year than last year (2013/2014), the numbers for all other reported crimes have decreased.
According to Capt Lourens although many of the muggers have been apprehended, they are often back on the streets when they are granted bail or receive minimal sentences. As a result, Hout Bay SAPS and Hout Bay CPF are continuing with a process started by the previous CPF Chairman, the late uncle Jim McKenna, to ensure that when a regular offender is arrested, a letter is sent to the court to try to ensure that he is kept behind bars until his trial date and that he receives a more severe sentence when he is successfully prosecuted. These additional duties add to the workload of SAPS who are under staffed as it is, so it is essential that members of the public report every crime, as these statistics are used to assign SAPS members to each police station and area.
In all other categories of crime, the number of incidents reduced: Murders decreased, Malicious damage to property was down 10%, Property related crimes, such as House Break Ins, down 20% while Theft and commercial crime came down by 5%. The number of House robberies this past year has also decreased. On the other hand, arrests for crimes in which the actions of the SAPS members play a major part (pro-active policing) have increased. These are drug arrests, arrests for being in the possession of stolen goods or dangerous weapons (up by 150 cases) and arrests for drunken driving (up by 20 cases), showing that Hout Bay SAPS are continuing to ensure that criminals do not have an easy time in Hout Bay. Capt Lourens highlighted the fact that the number of shebeens in Hout Bay has decreased from 128 to about 16, as a result of these SAPS operations. This has definitely had an effect on reducing the number of crimes committed in Hout Bay.
Unfortunately already this month, April 2015, there has been an increase in the number of cases of petty theft - Handbags stolen in restaurants or shops, valuables stolen out of cars, wheelie bins left out for days on end which then disappear and helmets left hanging on bikes. Perpetrators walk the streets with long sticks to hook items through open or unlocked windows. Finally, Capt Lourens discussed 2 recent hi-jackings which he attributed to "outsiders" coming into Hout bay to commit crimes.
SAPS are planning further COSAP operations and Capt Lourens has stated his motto is "Take Back Hout Bay". This, together with newly elected HBNW Chairperson Dennis Steggink's motto of "Make the Valley safer", should make Hout Bay a safer place in 2015. Dennis took over the HBNW chair from acting chairperson Keith Fawcett who has been standing in for Frith Stables since she resigned in February, due to ill health. Dennis is also the Area Leader of Area 19, Oakhurst Area, and has been a Member of HBNW for many years. We look forward to continue to work alongside Dennis, in his new capacity as Chairman, to move HBNW further forward in our efforts to curb the criminal activity in Hout Bay, and to improve the security of all residents of the community of Hout Bay.
9 Apr 2015 - Hout Bay Volunteer EMS announce new ExCo
Hout Bay Volunteer EMS is proud to announce their new ExCo for the next 12 months:
Bianca Engels: Human Resources and Recruitment
Charmaine Cunningham: Finances
Matthew Rosenberg: CEO
Michael Boyd: Secretary
Norbert Stallkamp: Training and Shift Manager
Paul Giot: Equipment and Logistics
They are looking forward to a great year of building on the successes of the past and taking the service to new heights. All their successes are only possible with public support. Please contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have ideas, concerns or ways in which you'd like to support them further.
31 Mar 2015 - Help us reach our Goal - R135 185 raised so far!
Watchcon is in urgent need of funds to upgrade the CCTV “back-haul” (the wireless infrastructure) to accommodate existing and additional CCTV cameras, as well as 2 additional Repeaters to improve and upgrade our radio network at the Watchcon Radio Control room. Professional camera monitoring is required and additional funds are also needed to extend the current systems at Watchcon, in order for us to stay technologically up to date as we continue to fight crime in Hout Bay. Our business strategy budget has been approved by EXCO and is published below. Thank you to all who have donated! Please keep the donations coming in. Use reference "Watchcon" and your name.
Volunteers are also needed for a variety of portfolios to keep the wheels of the organisation turning, especially in residential areas where there are no EXCO representatives (HBNW Area Leaders). Contact us on email@example.com if you are prepared to assist.
24 Mar 2015 - Hout Bay CPF: A successful week in the fight against crime
Last week a number of arrests were made by Hout Bay SAPS members for a variety of crimes. The successful arrests for last week include the following:
4 suspects arrested for House Break-in and theft
1 suspect arrested for house robbery
2 suspects arrested for Trespassing
1 suspect arrested for possession of stolen property
3 suspects arrested for malicious damage to property
3 suspects arrested for Robbery
2 suspects arrested for contravening the liquor act
2 suspects arrested for Hijacking
1 suspect arrested for possession of a dangerous weapon
2 suspects arrested for theft of a motorbike
A total of 21 arrests for last week. SAPS have attributed this success to the commitment and team work of the community; all SSPs, HBNW and community members.
Approximately 4am, Saturday 21st March a vehicle was hi-jacked while leaving the Harbour Heights area. The female occupant was pulled from her car and 4 suspects drove off. The incident was reported to SAPS and all SAPS members alerted. Members of the Cape Town Flying Squad arrested 2 suspects and retrieved the vehicle outside of Hout Bay, shortly after the matter was reported.
12 Mar 2015 - Security Reminder
It's a warning we've repeated many times over the years but it's always worth reminding people not to leave their bins outside their residences except on bin collection day. We hope this little reminder makes it clear why we keep repeating this tip. Read more tips>>
13 Mar 2015 - Corporate Communication - Hout Bay SAPS
The information in the SAPS media releases below is as received from SAPS. HBNW does not take responsibility for the accuracy of the data, or information provided. HBNW provides this data to you, the member, for your interest and awareness. Any comments can be addressed directly to SAPS as per the contact information on this link >>
SAPS are concerned about the modus operandi of criminals wearing police uniform to commit crimes.
On Thursday, 12 March 2015 at 16:15 four suspects dressed in police uniform perpetrated a robbery at a residence in Main Rd, Hout Bay, and robbed the family of their belongings. They fled the scene in a white vehicle. No injuries were sustained. Anyone with information is kindly requested to contact the investigating officer, D/Cst Brandon Jacobs. 021 791 8660
SAPS would like to encourage the public to report all incidents or visits by SAPS members, when there is any uncertainty. Suspects do their research and planning before they commit crime. Do a criminal check, and keep a copy of id and verification of address, before employing a person.
When confronted by a visit from SAPS:
Request identification and verify with your local police station and ask for assistance
Do not allow access to your property, without proper documentation (eg. search warrant or case docket)
Check markings, registration, contact number (if displayed) and make of the vehicle
Clear your post box of letter and newspapers
Report suspicious activities in your area
Attend public meetings and Community Police Forum meetings – get involved with your community and Neighbourhood watch
Introduce yourself to your local SAPS members, CPF and Neighbourhood Watch coordinators
Follow instructions to prevent confrontation or injuries
Be observant, so that you can relay all the information to SAPS
Report the incident to your security company or SAPS immediately
10 Mar 2015 - ADT offer their Clients a free FindU App for Smartphones
With the ADT FindU App you will receive personal monitoring 24 hours a day, 7 days per week. You will have access to Armed Response, medical assistance, mountain, wilderness and sea rescue services. See more details on this brochure. Read more>>
Letter to Sentinel, 6 Feb 2015 - Hats off to SAPS and Securities
I would like to commend the Hout Bay police, ADT and Deep Blue Security. On Friday January 30, around 11:30pm, I was confronted bv a knife-wielding man in my house. I managed to slam the security gate closed in our passage with my wife and children on the safe side and phoned Hout Bay police station's charge office, which I have saved on my cellphone. An officer answered almost immediately. I cryptically informed him that we were under attack and gave him the address.
Within three minutes our house was swarming with police, ADT and Deep Blue security guards. Within five minutes there must have been more than 20 police officers and security guards in and around our house, looking evervwhere. They immediately got a description from me, after which I could hear them barking instructions and the description into their two-way radios. Members on the other side of those radios were clearly positioning themselves in strategic places all over Hout Bay. Black, white and coloured officers were all working together like a well-oiled machine. I experienced such a sense of urgency and commitment from all the officers involved.
After feeling shaken and vulnerable from facing the armed intruder a couple of moments before, I suddenly felt safe and protected and as though I had suddenly become part of a phenomenal force that was not going to let things lie.
Within an hour the police officers had probed informants, searched various areas and, while I was giving a statement to two officers, the news came through, they had caught him, red-handed with some of the items that he had taken still in his possession.
I started feeling an overwhelming sense of pride that I live in a community where there are so many police and security officers who are so dedicated. They were not only dedicated, but kept on asking after my wife, my girls and my well-being, showing true compassion.
Well done SAPS Hout Bay. Well done ADT. Well done Deep Blue Security. You did us proud last night and gave me faith again in our community and future. God bless you. Jean du Plessis Hout Bay
Where does HBNW fit into this scenario? All the coordination that Jean describes in his letter is possible because of HBNW and Watchcon. So please support us with a monthly donation! Thank you.
To find out how else you can assist HBNW in a variety of ways pleasedownload the February Newsletter to Members from Frith Stables.
26 Feb 2015 - Letter from HBNW Chairperson Frith Stables
After much deliberation with Physician and family, due to ill health and despite my passion for a crime free Hout Bay, it is with regret that I have to stand down as Chairperson for Hout Bay Neighbourhood Watch. I would be doing Hout Bay and Hout Bay Neighbourhood Watch a disservice to continue on an adhoc basis, when health permits.
I would like to take this opportunity in thanking the HBNW members and the Hout Bay community for your support. I have the strongest faith in the community and members supporting HBNW endeavours and taking Neighbourhood Watch to the next level. Please support all initiatives whether in time or financially; even advice on legal, marketing etc would be most welcome.
I shall continue to support HBNW wherever I am able.
With kindest regards
HBNW wishes to express their immense thanks to Frith for all she done for HBNW, tirelessly working to increase the visibility of HBNW and reduce crime in Hout Bay, not only during the time she has been in the Chair, but previously as a very active patrolling member of the organisiation. We wish her a speedy recovery and look forward to welcoming her back, when she is well and truly recovered.
18 Feb 2015 - Hout Bay SAPS Media Release: Mugging on Hout Bay beach
On Wednesday 18th January around 16:30, a group of friends were walking on Hout Bay Beach. The group included visitors from Sweden as well as the Hungarian Ambassador.
A young man approached the group and grabbed a handbag, the owner of the bag resisted and the suspect stabbed her on her right arm and left shoulder. The victim’s husband gave chase, but the suspect disappeared into the bushes. The victim’s purse, keys and diplomatic ID have not been recovered. The victim received medical attention for her injuries.
The suspect was described as being approximately 20 years old, wearing a straw hat, short sleeve shirt and long beige trousers . A case of robbery was opened and is be investigated. All leads are being followed up and no arrests have been made as yet. Anyone with any information is asked to contact the Hout Bay SAPS office on 021 791 8660.
17 Feb 2015 - Hout Bay SAPS Media Release: Scott Estate Robbery - 4 suspects arrested.
Following a recent robbery in Scott Estate, SAPS received information which led to the arrest of 4 suspects and the recovery of certain stolen items. 1 of the suspects appeared in the Wynberg Magistrate court on 16th February 2015 and was remanded until the 6th of March 2015 for a bail application. The remaining 4 suspects will appear in court on the 17th February on charges of House robbery.
SAPS detectives and investigating officers profiled those arrested and they have now been linked with other cases, including House Robberies, Assault GBH and other serious cases. Anyone with any additional information is asked to contact investigating officer Detective Mqoqi at Hout Bay SAPS 02 1791 8660. Read more SAPS Media Releases>>
5 Feb 2015 - Please Validate your HBNW Identity Card
It is a requirement under Clause 12 of the ‘Western Cape Provincial Constitution and Code of Conduct for Neighbourhood Watch Structures’ that we must ensure all identity cards are validated annually.
To be compliant with the Western Cape Province Constitution for Neighbourhood Watch’s, this Annual process is to be implemented immediately and we appeal to all members to comply. Find out how>>
Download a HBNW Debit Order Form
HBNW members (especially those whocannot patrol or help in any other way) here is your chance to contribute. It's time for everyone to do their bit and help fight crime in our beautiful valley. Download this Debit Order form, fill it in and email the completed form to firstname.lastname@example.org Or check our bank account details and set up a Debit Order or regular payment via Internet Banking. You can choose to donate to your area or to HBNW in general (use "Watchcon" as a reference) or for a special project. And there are NO prescribed amounts! Whatever suits your pocket!
Link to Suspicious/Wanted vehicles on BKMWatch website
Comparisons of 2012/2013 Crime Figures (ie April 2012 to March 2013) vs 2013/2014 Crime Figures (ie April 2013 to March 2014)as provided by Hout Bay SAPS:
The total number of reported contact crime incidents dropped by 13.4%.
The number of reported property related crimesdropped by 22.9%.
The number of reported incidents of robbery aggrevated reduced by 17.6%.
The number of crimes where police detection and intervention is required (such as drug arrests, confiscations of dangerous weapons, being in possession of house breaking implements or drunk driving arrests) increased by 89.8%. These percentages are calculated in comparison to the same period in the previous year, ie April 2012 to March 2013.
More information available (you may need to log in)
Daily Crime information (previously available on the HBNW Blog).
Ensure that all valuables and important documents are photocopied, authenticated by a Commissioner of Oaths and securely locked away. If you do not have a fire proof home safe, lodge these copies with your bank for safekeeping.
Ensure that perimeter doors are fitted with adequate locks. The front door should have a safety chain or safety latch and, if the door has no vision panel, a door viewer. If keys to perimeter doors are mislaid, those locks should be replaced.
We welcome input from our members so please pass on your security tips and, where relevant, we will publish them and acknowledge the contributor. Read more tips>>