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The History of Komwatch

March 6, 2018

Kommetjie has always been considered a quiet coastal village. This however has gradually changed and it became apparent to some concerned citizens that some form of Neighborhood Watch was needed.

The first Neighborhood Watch for Kommetjie was launched during 1982. Warrant Officer (First Class) W.J.Nell ( Oom Bill) was the first Chairman and the Watch functioned mostly as eyes and ears. When Oom Bill died during 1995 a local estate agent, Peter Yule took over and ran the organization in very much the same way as before. John Vail took over when Mr Yule emigrated. The Kommetjie Neighborhood Watch was quite active and held regular meetings and sent out security tips to all Kommetjie residents. Unfortunately Mr Vail left the area and had to resign. His post was taken over by Des Huskissen.

During these years the Neighbourhood Watch, although very similar to the current organization, had a much more passive approach. Some members felt that a more active approach was called for and started sending out regular newsletters called the "Kommetjie Brief". This was followed up by the establishment of a Mountain Watch similar to the Mountain Men of Lakeside and Clovelly. The "Dassies" consisted of approximately 16-18 members, mostly retired, who manned selected spots on the mountain above the village. It sadly came to an end about two years later due to members' ill-health, old age and members moving away from Kommetjie. The previous neighborhood watch probably ceased to be for similar reasons to the "Dassies" during 2004.

The current Kommetjie Neighborhood Watch (Komwatch) was established at a very well attended meeting of local residents, held in the community hall at the local school during early February 2004. Terry Butler, part of the neighborhood watch set up for Kingfisher Way, was the driving force behind the establishment of the Kommetjie Neighborhood Watch. Pat Evans took over from there and kept the new neighborhood watch alive until a management committee was chosen with Peter Lucas as the first, very competent Chairman.

 

Peter developed the nuts and bolts of Komwatch and got the night patrols operational. Taking over from Peter was Robin Dauncey who transformed what Peter had set up into a more automated structure, using the website as the foundation for distributing information to members. In addition, the early stages of patrollers responding to incidents of crime was initiated. The radio system was formulated where residents could purchase a radio and use that to communicate with others. Alastair Mackie took over from Robin and built on the starting blocks created by the former teams. The Rapid Response Team (RRT) became more formalised and the radio holders expanded to the now 100 plus radio holders in Kommetjie. The RRT has been very successful in bringing down crime, assisting SAPS in arresting more than 50 criminals over the last few years. Alan Van Gysen took over from Alastair Mackie and initiated a village security guard, funded by Komwatch and local businesses. Megan Yates is the current Chairperson.

 

Komwatch currently has a very active RRT team, many active patrollers and over 700 members.

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