Communication against crime

2014-12-04 00:00

ESCALATING crime in Howick is being nipped in the bud, thanks to different sectors in the town talking to each other.

The Howick and Midlands Chamber of Business and Industry hosted the municipality and the police at a ­meeting to find solutions to concerns about rising crime in the CBD.

Chamber CEO Mano Naidoo said business owners in Campbell Road and Exchange Lane had appealed for help after a spate of burglaries.

“They were incurring huge losses through theft and damage to property. In addition, their production losses were compounded by electricity disruptions as a result of cable theft,” he said.

According to Naidoo, the meeting with the police was very productive and a joint agreement was reached. This included the following:

• Members of the Howick SAPS will have visible day and night police patrols in the area.

• The patrols will engage with business owners and not just drive around. This will improve communication and allow the business owners to discuss their concerns.

• There will be extra patrols in the CBD and volunteers will be brought in to assist the police.

• The police in turn appealed to business owners and residents to press charges once a suspect is caught. They said their work was hampered by residents being ­reluctant to press charges. This meant their work had been in vain as the suspect had to be released.

• Residents were also warned to take precautions and ­secure their valuables, to ensure their vehicles were ­properly locked and to beware of remote jamming.

The joint statement outlining this anti-crime plan of action was signed by Naidoo and Patrick Ntombela, the chairperson of the Howick Community Policing Forum. Umgeni municipal manager Khayo Mpungose was at the meeting along with the top brass of the police serving the Howick area.

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