Safe City group loses its shine

2015-03-31 00:00

THE Safe City Pietermaritzburg Facebook group, which has served as a source of information for the public about crime and community safety, will close down today, but the group’s creator says a new page could be in the pipeline.

Since its creation, the group has garnered over 3 600 members.

The group’s closure comes after a barrage of defamatory and racist comments were posted on various topics.

Yesterday, group creator ‎Lucas Holtzhausen posted this message on the group: “Dear Friends: I have decided to close down this group. Unfortunately it has lost its focus and it no longer serves the purpose for which I started it. Personal attacks, racism and politicking made it quite uncomfortable for Safe City to host this page. This page will close down on the 31st March …”

Holtzhausen told The Witness that it was never his intention to close the group down, but it veered from its objective.

“The purpose of the group was to inform people, but it has become hard to manage. It is likely that we will create a page on Facebook, to have more control over the posts,” he said.

News of the closure was met by disappointment, with members posting over 50 comments in response to Holtzhausen’s post.

Michelle Dewing posted: “That is so sad that people could not see the good intentions of this group. I would personally like to thank you for all your good intentions and what you personally have done for the community. God bless.”

Andrew de Klerk posted: “This really is a pity as there was lots of good information being shared on here to make our lives safer, for example new unpainted speed humps, troubles on the freeway, traffic lights that are out.”

Trudy Cadman posted: “Such a pity. You do a sterling job Lucas and I appreciated all the info provided for us. As someone else said, The few ignorants spoil it for everyone. Thank you Lucas for all that you did.”

The group’s “About” section stated that its mission was to report, prevent and detect crime and bylaw infringements in the Pietermaritzburg area to encourage a crime-free environment.

Dr Johan Burger, senior researcher in the governance, crime and justice division at the Institute for Security Studies, said that due to a rise in serious and violent crimes in the country, coupled with a loss of faith in the justice division, communities often gather using platforms such as Facebook, which can be effective.

“When communities feel threatened, people either buy into private security services, invest in security equipment at home, or resort to vigilantism.

“Most responsible people form themselves into neighbourhood watches of many forms; the biggest challenges are how they communicate and what platforms they use,” he said.

V Lucas Holtzhausen

“Dear Friends: I have decided to close down this group. Unfortunately it has lost its focus and it no longer serves the purpose for which I started it. Personal attacks, racism and politicking made it quite uncomfortable for Safe City to host this page. This page will close down on the 31st March...”

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.