Gardens Watch Policy
Aims and Rationale
Gardens Watch is a voluntary organisation designed to benefit the community by preventing and reducing crime, as well as positively contributing to maintaining our property values. Our members consist of those who live, work or own property in our area. We are supported by the Cape Town Central Community Policing Forum (CPF) to promote active citizenship and a safer community. Our vision is a clean, safe and caring community within the Gardens neighbourhood.
Our community needs to look out for one another, report suspicious activity promptly and improve our overall safety with a well-managed neighbourhood. Gardens Watch works closely with the South African Police Service (SAPS), the City of Cape Town (CoCT) and other third parties committed to providing community safety. There is an understanding of commitment by each party to support one another. Our efforts are funded by voluntary donations by members of our community.
…is to promote safety and maintain property values
Specialised Whatsapp groups or Slack channels have been established for members volunteering around a specific issue or portfolio. Regular meetings virtual or in-person will be arranged as needed.
Our Crime Alert Whatsapp group facilitates communication between the community and outside stakeholders.
Some ground rules:
- If you see suspicious activity in our neighbourhood, please communicate it here and we will activate our security partners, including Watchcom – 021 422 4222
- This is a forum for information and coordination. It is not a place to debate and complain about the state of the world or the failure of the state. Nor is it a spot for you to test out whether your jokes on religion, sex, race and politics are funny or not.
- We are community driven – this means that you recognise that information, including personal information, shared on this group is for the members of the group only and not for outside parties. If you want to share it with outside parties, invite them to join Gardens Watch.
Purpose and Objectives
- Prevent crime by managing our suburb, improving security, increasing vigilance and creating/maintaining a resilient and caring community;
- Reduce the opportunity of crime and violence by increasing awareness, promoting prompt reporting of criminal and suspicious activity as well as gathering intelligence;
- Reduce undue fear in the community by providing accurate information about risk;
- To maintain property values by keeping Gardens clean and well managed;
- Improve communication between local residents and community safety organisations.
Ways in which to become an active member
- Regular financial support as our effort is funded by voluntary donations;
- Volunteer time for our patrol program;
- Volunteer skills to assist with our cleansing program, our camera initiative, marketing efforts or administration and special projects (e.g. Tuin Plein);
- Volunteer time to attend community meetings as a Gardens Watch representative (eg City of Cape Town Ward Forum, Social Development, District Six Discussions, CIBRA, SRA’s, Community Policing Forums etc).
Volunteering with Gardens Watch
In order to ensure public confidence in Gardens Watch and provide an environment for people to be volunteers, it is appropriate that all volunteers adhere to this document. It is recognised that Gardens Watch is made up of participants and volunteers concerned about their community and that activities will be organised around local needs. Any member who fails to comply with these policies & procedures may be subject to the termination of their registration with Gardens Watch.
Principles of being a voluntary Gardens Watch Member
- Volunteering work is unpaid;
- Benefits the community and the volunteer;
- Volunteering is always a matter of choice;
- Volunteering is a legitimate way in which citizens can participate in the activities of the community;
- Gardens Watch is open to all people who are willing to volunteer their time and capabilities to support our work. They agree to abide by the rules and guidelines of the organisation;
- Gardens Watch is to remain non-political;
- Volunteers are not to use Gardens Watch for personal gain or advantage;
- Promotional material is not to be used to air personal opinions.
Becoming a Gardens Watch Member
- Any community member who has a commitment to working with others within our policies & procedures to make our community a safer place, can become a member;
- By becoming a member, you will be committing to becoming involved in projects, programs and events that promote our objective of a clean, safe, caring community;
- A membership registration form must be completed and submitted to Gardens Watch. We will require you to renew your membership annually just to let us know that you are still in the area and still wish to be a part of our Watch.
- By a volunteer: Should a member wish to resign from Gardens Watch, they are requested to do so in writing and send an email stating as such to email@example.com. Please note that membership will automatically expire after a year, unless it is renewed. This is in an effort to keep our database current.
- By Misconduct: including
- Being convicted of a criminal offence;
- Using Gardens Watch to air personal opinions;
- Using Gardens Watch for personal gain or advantage;
- Unwillingness or inability to support and further the philosophy of Gardens Watch and/or our objectives;
- Verbal or physical harassment of any person particularly in respect of race, sex or religion;
- Intoxication through alcohol or other prohibited substance while representing Gardens Watch;
- Any unlawful behaviour; and
Any Active Member who discredits Gardens Watch by their actions and/or behaviour or is considered disruptive or divisive by their group; or any person who is in breach of any of the above, may forfeit their registration at the discretion of the Gardens Watch Executive Committee.