Darling Watch newsletter June 2019 – “If you see something….say something!”

Dear Darling Watch Members and Neighbours.  “Darling Neighbourhood Watch is YOUR voluntary Watch organization.  Along with the CPF we monitor crime around us, implement or support upliftment projects, develop co-operative relationships and strategies with SAPS, Law Enforcement, local Security Companies and other Neighbourhood and Farm Watches. We rely heavily on your support to make Darling a safer place for all.”

Crime data for May 2019 provided by Darling SAPS:  Station Commander Capt Jag Saayman.

  • Darling- East stays our precinct’s Hot Spot area for Contact crimes, therefore our primary focus will be Darling- East for the purpose of preventing this, as well as Operational actions/ deployment.
  • Darling- North and South are majorly affected by overflow crimes, which include Contact, Property & Other crimes.
  • During the month of May three (3) incidents of Housebreaking occurred in Darling- South, of which only two (2) were reported.
  • Two of these incidents [includes the one (1) not reported], occurred in broad daylight, while the residents were not at home.
  • Crime in general showed an increase for the month of May 2019, however good successes were also obtained concentrating on Illegal Dealing in Liquor cases.

Neighbouring crime reports:

Nothing specific to report except a general feeling that the West Coast represents a deteriorating crime situation.  The Burger newspaper recently reported that whilst the West Coast was viewed as an idyllic country destination, that many residents and especially farmers felt that crime and a “broken” police service had become a growing cancer which was steadily eroding the qualities of country life.

Darling incidents for May 2019:    

  • NOTE: Please report all incidents to the Darling Watch.  Use Community group for general information or questions and only use the SOS group for emergency.
  • 11th and 12th May. Late-night reveling disturbance at Main Street hotel.  Doof-doof music till 3.00am.  3.20am long drum rolls.  When asked why something was not done about this disturbance in the village, the police advised that “they don’t listen”.
  • 22nd May. Five suspects escaped from Vredenburg court.  Known to be armed and dangerous and headed towards Darling. Black GTI Golf involved in pick-up on route to Atlantis.  2 suspects caught along railway line. Others were followed towards The Towers.  The Golf was pulled over, but no further feedback on remaining suspects.  NOTE:  When you receive feedback of this nature on SOS groups, it is not appropriate to post on Social Media.  You can prejudice cases and police work in tracking down the suspects.  Work on a “need to know” basis only.
  • 27th May. Break-in at Petunia Street in daylight hours.  Suspects seemed to have clear knowledge of owner’s movements.
  • 27th May. Feedback. Sue Flight was murdered in Darling on 25/10/2012.  Sentencing of the man found guilty has taken an inordinate amount of time.  Richard Mzola was today sentenced to two life imprisonment terms.  One for robbery with aggravating circumstances and another for the murder of Sue.  The prosecutor apologised for the length of time it has taken for this case to be resolved. (More than six years duration is an absolute embarrassment for our legal system.)   An appeal is possible but success is considered unlikely.  Special thanks to Colette Mang for steadfastly monitoring the slow legal process and giving us feedback over the years.  Our thoughts are with Sue and her family.
  • 30th May. Tragic case of mother and daughter accidentally fatally poisoned at home by aliminium phosphate pills set down in order to kill rodents. The poison is highly toxic to humans and was apparently being used to kill moles and mice at a local farm, where one of the victims worked.


  • Remember that simply reporting a crime on our Community Group is not sufficient. When we do this, we feel policelike we have told a few people but really we are simply venting our frustrations.  The most important destination for all incident reports is SAPS.  That way we can monitor and also follow up SAPS actions.  If case numbers are not built up in the SAPS records systems, then there can be no influence at all on performance evaluations, nor resource allocations, nor crime data trends.  We MUST report all cases if we want anything to change.  Don’t bleat about it….please take appropriate action.
REPORT of DARLING Watch AGM.  15th May.
  • Thanks to all our members and visitors, our AGM was very well attended and your ExCom received good feedback on pressing matters to take up with SAPS. Our membership numbers are rising slowly but we encourage all members to actively work towards building up membership numbers whenever possible.  We are especially low on night patrol numbers which we believe are a critical public indicator of our levels of vigilance and proactive capability.  Outgoing Watch chairman, Riaan Neethling gave an update on the new security camera upgrade which will soon cover all entries and exits to Darling.  Dr. Ilze v d Merwe was elected the new Watch chair along with other role changes to the ExCom.  Thanks are extended to Riaan Neethling for his years of service as Chairman and we welcome the fact that he will remain as joint vice Chair along with Andrew Williams.  Dave Wallace will continue to monitor the implementation of the camera system and James Dufus will be Dave’s shadow.  Special thanks are extended to Ilsa Swanepoel and the Perron for their hospitality and for hosting our meeting.

Patrols:  The “Street beat”.   

  • street beatDarling Watch is actively looking for additional members and also night patrollers. Although the standard format is one two hour patrol per month, we are flexible and happy to accommodate those who can perhaps only do one hour per month. Another option is to share a patrol with a “buddy” and make the drive around more sociable.  Please talk to us if you have any further ideas on how to bolster our patrol numbers.  The visibility and regularity of patrols is regarded as a key reason we have relatively few incidents in Darling South.  Thank you to all those who contribute by patrolling.
  • If your neighbours or newcomers are not yet members of the Watch, please do encourage them to join. Membership costs are very low, but active membership is priceless.

Community projects:  “some further good news”

  • Darling Museum: Currently we are co-operating with the Daring Museum to develop curriculum-relevant museum tours that will interest local teachers and primary schools. Some of the displays will be updated to make the Darling story more relevant to school children but we are very hopeful that something worthwhile will flow from this initiative in the coming months.  The current focus is to continue harvesting local stories and oral history especially from the “oldies” so that the early life of Darling does not disappear.  We are particularly looking for photographs that reflect daily community life, across all races, in Darling over the past century.
  • Koranrug Primary school: Much has already been done by the Darling community to upgrade and renovate this 65-pupil farm school recently, and to enhance the learning/teaching experience. Funds are now being raised to improve the garden paths and planting, verandah sunshades and also develop a mobile Library at the school.  The library is looking for books (in Afrikaans, this being the main teaching language), to suit children 5-13 years old.  Any ideas or contributions please contact Hannalie Neethling on 084 609 1959.



Roy Adcock. Liaison / Communication on behalf of the Darling Watch Executive Committee – royadcock1947@gmail.com / 064 907 2286

Office bearers.

Chairperson:  Dr Ilze v d Merwe.

Deputy chairs:  Riaan Neethling / Andrew Williams.

Secretary:  Gary Barrows.

Treasurer:  Maxine Lazar.

Liaison / Communication.  Roy Adcock / Norman Maarman.

Cameras:  Dave Wallace / James Dufus

bird in cage
”a bird that stalks down his narrow cage, can seldom see through his bars of rage”

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