Govt needs help in fighting crime

2013-05-20 00:00

THE recent incidents of violence in KwaZulu-Natal, whether targeting the elderly and babies in the form of rape, or involving house-breaking incidents, call on all of us to form a united front against crime.

Crime has the potential to divide our society, bringing with it a temptation for racial profiling. We should not allow this.

Instead, it should mobilise us towards forming a united front against it. The reality is that the battle against crime is not a war that can be won by policemen and women alone.

Oher realities, such as the sheer number of the KwaZulu-Natal population versus the strength of the service, the topography of the province and the nature of the settlements in the province, all have a bearing on this fight.

Communities have to play a bigger role: only a strong force of police officers, working with vigilant and mobilised communities, can flush the criminals out of society.

The department is engaged, through various initiatives, in a massive campaign to mobilise and ready communities to participate in the fight against crime.

Through our flagship programme of Building a United Front against Crime, we are working with community policing forums to take the battle to the local level and up to the ward level.

The department believes that community participation in this fight should be structured and within the law.

The upsurge of crime has frustrated communities, making them feel powerless, with some resorting to setting up vigilante groups.

We have engaged with these formations with a view to making them operate within the law through the community policing forums.

With assistance from the government, these groupings have now formed their own body, the KwaZulu-Natal Voluntary Crime Prevention Association.

The department has embarked on a programme to empower CPF members so that they can effectively fulfil their roles and understand the concept of community policing.

We have formulated a holistic approach of community participation in the fight against crime.

In brief, this entails among others, working together with Cogta [Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs], municipalities and ward committees, to form ward safety committees.

The MEC and his staff are always ready to work with communities and would appreciate them sharing ideas and initiatives to fight crime. Suggestions and ideas can be forwarded to

• Willies Mchunu is the MEC for Transport, Community Safety and


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