RADIOS AND DNW
Some residents have recently voiced their concern about the poor response to two recent crime related incidents called in over the radio. We do need residents to respond in numbers to achieve any success in apprehending any suspects.
When the DNW was formed in 2006 and crime was really affecting us, we all bought radios so that we could all be informed immediately whenever our support was required in combating crime. Residents came out in their numbers to help catch the suspects no matter what the time of day or night. To keep this up we all had to have our radio on at all times, either with us or near us and with the battery charged.
We would like to remind our residents that the radio is not there like an emergency button that we activate whenever we feel insecure and need help. The radio is there so that we can respond, together with all our neighbours, should there be an emergency.
If we do not keep our radio on and with us, we are letting our neighbours down as we will never know when they may need us or when we need them. (By the way – Whatsapp is a chat channel and is not to be used instead of the radio. Whatsapp does not take the place of the radio.)
DNW AFFILIATION TO THE LYTTELTON COMMUNITY POLICE SUB-FORUM 2
Towards the end of last year the Lyttelton Community Police Sub-Forum 2 (CPSF 2 for short) invited the DRA to affiliate with them. At the time members of the DNW were unhappy with some of the provisions put to the DRA for affiliation by the leadership of CPSF 2.
These differences were aired by both parties at various meetings and a final list of unresolved issues was advanced. The leadership of CPSF 2 were informed that the DRA was not prepared to affiliate given these unresolved issues, but with the suggestion that representatives of the two parties meet to ascertain whether these differences could be resolved.
Representatives of both the DRA (DNW) and CPSF 2 met on a regular basis and went through each issue that had prevented the DRA from affiliating. The outcome of these meetings may be summed up in the following way:
- Many of the issues on our list of objections were really misunderstandings as to what was really meant. Each issue that was raised previously was again discussed at length and resolved to the satisfaction of both parties.
2, The representatives of the two parties to the discussion also discussed the remaining major stumbling blocks, namely the registration of DNW members as patrollers, the CPSF 2 constitution, and their Code of Conduct. After further discussions the meeting came to the following agreement:
Patrollers. While there was no clear definition as to what a patroller really looked like, the meeting decided that the DNW would only register those who wished to be registered. It must be noted that there was no specific requirement for any or even the entire DNW membership to register as patrollers in order to be a volunteer with the DNW. (The precise definition and requirements to register and their position within DNW/CPSF 2 will be properly cleared up and communicated later with those who wish to be involved).
CPSF 2 Constitution. The DRA representatives expressed a grave concern with the CPSF 2 Constitution. This was resolved by the CPSF 2 agreeing to accept a statement from the DRA as part of the acceptance of affiliation. This statement will indicate the DRA’s interpretation or meaning of specific paragraphs of the CPSF 2 Constitution. One such interpretation is that the DRA understands that affiliation does not mean that the DNW is subordinate or under command of the CPSF 2 leadership, but that the relationship is one of cooperation; and that the CPSF 2 leadership will act as a coordinating body between the various affiliated neighbourhood watches, as a vehicle for advancing Lyttelton Sector 2’s concerns (including our own concerns) with the Lyttelton Police Station, while conveying the SAPS requests/information to the affiliated groups.
Code of Conduct. The DRA representatives stated that the DRA could not accept the code of conduct as it is currently contained in the CPSF 2 Constitution. The meeting accepted that this code of conduct would have to be revised to be acceptable to us. Meanwhile the view was expressed that the DNW’s Code of Conduct, as drawn up by us, was deemed to be more stringent than theirs and it was therefore accepted that if DNW members abided by our code of conduct CPSF 2 leadership would be satisfied.
At the final meeting the view was expressed that common ground had been found and that the obstacles to affiliation were resolved. It was also agreed that both parties would need to tighten up specific aspects. Issues that the DRA will have to address will be to have the Code of Conduct officially accepted by DNW members as part of the DNW. At the same time, some of the nomenclatures used by the DNW may have to change, such as renaming Minute Men to Patrollers. The affiliation process may mean the drafting of a separate DNW Constitution as it is felt that the DRA, as currently constituted, cannot be bound or affiliated to what is primarily a crime prevention organisation.
In conclusion, the DRA Representatives have recommended to the DRA/DNW that the DNW affiliates to the CPSF 2 with the provisos as presented to CPSF 2, together with the DNW’s Code of Conduct.
Further communication with regard to affiliation will be made to keep you up to date with progress.