Download the Code of Conduct HERE

 

This  Code  of  Conduct  is  issued  in  terms  of  regulation  4(2)(r)  of  the  Western  Cape Community Safety Regulations, 2016, made in terms of the Western Cape Community Safety Act, 2013 (Act 3 of 2013) (the Community Safety Act). All references to a neighbourhood watch in this document must be construed as a reference to an organisation   or association   accredited   as a  neighbourhood   watch  in  terms  of  the Community Safety Act.

 

INTODUCTION

 

1.     A neighbourhood  watch must serve as the eyes and ears of the community  it serves and must cooperate with the South African Police Service (SAPS).

2.     A neighbourhood  watch must assist SAPS and other safety and security services and partners to safeguard the local community and their property, to manage and control crime prevention and to discourage crime in the area.

3.     This Code of Conduct  is binding  on all members  of the neighbourhood  watch and members must pledge their adherence to this Code, failing which the members membership will be terminated.

4.     This   Code   of   Conduct   regulates   the   relationship   between   members   of   the neighbourhood   watch  and  members  of  the  community  and  promotes  exemplary conduct by members while they are serving the community as a member of the neighbourhood watch.

 

MEANING OF WORDS AND EXPRESSIONS

 

5.     In this Code of Conduct a word or expression to which a meaning has been assigned in the Western  Cape Community  Safety Regulations,  2016 (the Community  Safety Regulations), has the same meaning assigned to it in those regulations


CONDUCT OF MEMBERS

 

 

6.     A member  must at all times act in accordance  with the principles

       enshrined  in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996, and

 

(a)     must act in a manner that will uphold and promote the aims and objectives of the neighbourhood watch;

(b)     must  respect  and  protect  the  dignity  and  rights  of  every  person  in  the neighbourhood, including the right to free movement;

(c)      may not discriminate unfairly against any person on the basis of language, age, gender,  religion,  ethnic  or social  origin,  race,  sexual  orientation,  disability, political persuasion or any other constitutionally protected orientation;

(d)     must act within  his or her rights  as a private  person  and not beyond  those rights;

(e)     must serve the community in the area in an unbiased, apolitical and impartial manner in order to create confidence  in the neighbourhood  watch and build unity in a safe neighbourhood;

(f)      by pledging adherence to this Code of Conduct the member acknowledges that he or she is fully aware of the risks involved due to the nature of the task;

(g)     must refrain, as much as is reasonably possible, from placing him- or herself, fellow members, other safety and security services and partners or the police at risk;

(h)     must act in a non-violent manner and may not take the law into his or her own hands.

7.     A member may not

(a)     conduct  himself  or  herself  in  manner  that  will  bring  the  neighbourhood watch into disrepute;

(b)     disseminate or divulge any confidential or privileged information obtained as a result of his or her membership or obtained whilst on formal patrol, unless it is essential to do so to protect a member of the neighbourhood watch or community;

(c)      exploit his or her membership of the neighbourhood watch for his or her own personal advantage or benefit;

 

(d)     accept  any  payment,  commission  or gratuity  in connection  with  his or her membership  of the neighbourhood  watch, except after being duly authorised to do so by the neighbourhood watch; and

 

(e)     be in possession of any dangerous weapon under circumstances that make him or her guilty of a contravention of section 3(1) of the Dangerous Weapon Act,

 

2013 (Act 15 of 2013).

 

 

 

8.     If a member  is convicted  of a sexual  offence  or any  crime  involving  violence  or dishonesty  during his or her membership,  the neighbourhood  watch must terminate the member’s membership in terms of procedures provided in the founding document of the neighbourhood watch.

 

 

 

CONDUCT AND DUTIES OF MEMBERS PATROLLING

 

 

 

9.     When a member is patrolling as a member of the neighbourhood  watch, the member must—

 

(a)     when  possible,  alert the police  station  in the area when  the neighbourhood watch will be patrolling;

 

(b)     strive  to work  in partnership  with the members  of SAPS,  municipal  police service or law enforcement  agencies  with regard to crime prevention  in the area;

 

(c)    obey all lawful instructions  issued by members of the services mentioned in paragraph (b);

 

(d)     carry the identification card issued by the neighbourhood watch in accordance with regulation 4(5) of the Community Safety Regulations;

 

(e)     be punctual, reliable and responsible in the execution of all duties as a neighbourhood watch member;

 

(f)     act  in  the  best   interests   of  individual   residents,   tenants   or  owner of immovable property or persons with other relevant interests in the area and the neighbourhood  watch, except in circumstances beyond his or her ability or to maintain personal safety;

 

(g)     act in accordance  with official  text books of the Department  developed  for neighbourhood watch members, including protocols for incident management, crime scene management and best practice in every circumstance;

 

(h)     display  commitment  to the best possible  functioning  of the neighbourhood watch and the promotion of healthy interpersonal relations; and

 

(i)        undertake to report any individuals, vehicles or situations suspected of being connected to crime to the control room and, where necessary, to SAPS.

 

10.   A member’s assistance to a neighbourhood  watch is voluntary and therefore, when a member is using his or her private vehicle during the assistance, neither SAPS nor the neighbourhood  watch can be held responsible for any damage to the vehicle caused during the rendering of the assistance.

 

11.   Members  must  familiarise  themselves  with  the law regarding  the rights  of private persons to arrest or perform searches, including the minimum use of force, and must at all times comply with the Criminal Procedure Act, 1977 (Act 51 of 1977).

 

12.   Members  should  rather  report  suspected  criminal  behaviour  to  the  police  than personally attempt to perform an arrest.

 

13.   No  intimidation  in  whatever  form  may  be  used  against  any  individuals  in  any neighbourhood where a neighbourhood watch patrol takes place.

 

14.   No form of vigilantism will be accepted.

 

 

 

15.   Where possible, the neighbourhood watch must strive to work in partnership with the community police forum and subforum for the area.

 

16.   Where  possible,  the  chairperson  or  coordinator  of  the  neighbourhood  watch  must regularly attend the sector meetings held by SAPS and share information at the sector meetings regarding the crime situation in the area.

 

17.  No substance of abuse (alcohol and drugs) may be consumed before or during a patrol. A member of the Neighbourhood Watch must always conduct his or her duties, including responding to any incident or report of suspicious activity, while not being under the influence of any alcohol or drugs.

 

 

 

DISCIPLINARY MEASURES

 

 

 

18.   A member who is in breach of this Code of Conduct may lose his or her membership in terms of disciplinary procedures instituted by the neighbourhood watch as provided in the founding document of the neighbourhood watch.

 

 

 

AMENDMENTS TO THIS CODE OF CONDUCT

 

 

 

 

          19.     Amendments to this Code of Conduct may be made as required and will be published by the Department of

                   Community Safety.

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