Civic-based crime plan outlined

2010-01-22 00:00

CRIME-FIGHTING strategies and visible policing were some of the key issues discussed at a symposium held in Durban yesterday.

KwaZulu-Natal Premier Zweli Mkhize, MEC for Transport, Community Safety and Liaison Willies Mchunu, local councillors and municipal managers gathered at the Elangeni Hotel to share ideas on how to fight crime and discuss the importance of community engagement.

The “Building a United Front against Crime” campaign will encourage people to become more involved in the province’s fight against crime.

Government departments, police and community policing forums, taxi associations and religious leaders will also be involved in the campaign.

In his address, Mkhize said it is important to build a united front against crime, which has become a major threat to democracy and freedom.

He said more and more South Africans feel unsafe in their homes because criminals are becoming more violent.

“There are an increasing number of South Africans who feel unsafe, even in a familiar environment.

“It is often the sheer brutality and violent nature of the crime that makes the declining statistics unnoticeable.”

Mchunu said his department is determined to lead the campaign, which is aimed at encouraging more interaction with local communities.

The campaign will identify problem areas and provincial government would implement programmes in these areas.

He said KwaZulu-Natal will be the first province to start a provincial civic-driven crime prevention strategy.

“Findings indicate that crime is intertwined in a complex relationship with other social problems … prevalence of alcohol outlets and substance abuse is very high,” he said.

Mchunu said individuals must report all crimes to the police.

“Such a list shall be given to the police to profile these alleged criminals. It is easy to develop such a list because the criminals live amongst us in our communities,” he said.

He praised police for their hard work and dedication over the festive season.

He was quick to point out that his department does not advocate a “trigger- happy police force.”

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