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After consulting with SAPS in the Western Cape, MEC Fritz says accredited neighbourhood watches may patrol during curfew hours.

The nationwide curfew has been extended from 9pm until 6am under the adjusted Level 3 restrictions announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday night.

MEC Fritz has asked the chairpersons of accredited neighbourhood watches (NHW) to contact the Department of Community Safety for the issuing of new permits to operate during curfew hours between 9pm and 6am.

He says his department has received the permit template which will be used to issue permits to accredited NHWs.

The MEC explains that the previously issued permits are no longer valid due to changes to the lockdown regulations.

After consultation with SAPS legal Services, SAPS in the Western Cape confirmed that under the Adjusted Alert Level 3 Regulations that NHWs can function, provided all relevant protocols are adhered to. To do so, NHWs must be issued with permits and on their person at all times whilst performing duties.

Albert Fritz, Western Cape MEC for Community Safety

Fritz has also acknowledged the importance of neighbourhood watch groups to keep communities safe at night.

Earlier this year, NHW groups could not operate while the country was in a hard lockdown. They only returned to patrolling the streets during the first Level 3 lockdown in June of 2020.

"It is essential that NHWs continue to patrol during the curfew hours as we know that these are the times in which crimes such as robberies and burglaries take place", he says in a statement.

This article first appeared on CapeTalk : Neighbourhood watches need new permits to patrol during curfew hours - MEC Fritz

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