We met up with Eblockwatch founder Andre Snyman who spoke about the history of the organisation, how it started and what it does to curb crime across the country.
With the introduction of a new crime map, the community will be able to report on incidents and receive assistance from their direct community.
The history of Eblockwatch spans 18 years when Snyman moved to Johannesburg from a small town.
“My trucks were getting hijacked and I realised you don’t have the same small community connection that you have in a small town.”
He said the community pulled together, and they harvested the collective clout of the community.
Technology came into play in 2000 when he realised he needed to connect the communities. “We only had text messages back then, which was groundbreaking at the time.”
Snyman said they started to use technology and used it to digitally track down criminals, however, he said, “I can’t give the specifics of how we track them down.
“Eblockwatch creates a haystack through reported crimes in order to find the needle. Through the incidents, we are then able to connect the dots through the sharing of information.”
Without giving too many details, they are currently utilising the latest technology to be able to connect criminals to various crimes.
The way it works is that members register on the website and are able to add their incidents to a map, this information is then shared with Eblockwatch members within a five-kilometre radius.
“We have a team of experts who connect the dots and provide feedback to the victims which are then compared to other victims.”
Snyman said that no personal information of registered users on Eblockwatch is shared.