Social media fightback

2013-09-20 00:00

SOME Durban communities have responded to crime — whether petty or serious — by making better use of neighbourhood watch groups together with social media to help in the fight against criminals.

Chairperson of the Umhlanga, Durban North and Umdloti Community Police Forums (CPFs), Haden Searles, said they had started working more closely with security companies and residents.

“We have a war room which is used by security companies to converse with each other at all hours. This initiative has been used widely across the Umhlanga and Durban North areas and is proving to be effective”, said Searles.

He said the CPF was increasingly making use of social media to communicate with residents — this had become an effective tool.

“The CPF uses Twitter, BBM and Facebook to reach out and everyone belongs to at least one social networking site. It has been successful as there have been several arrests made since we have taken to social media”, he said.

In Hillcrest, the SMS was still a powerful tool to report crime, CPF chairperson Monica Bruun said.

“Unfortunately in the Hillcrest district we do not have many resources to converse with the public as fast as we would like. However, we do encourage community members to call or SMS us when they are in need of emergency services,” said Bruun.

KwaMashu district CPF chairperson Mbuso Shobede said they too relied on SMSes to fight crime.

SA CAN, a crime prevention organisation based in Hillcrest, Kloof and Ballito, uses technology to allow for a better interaction between community and emergency services. The organisation has also uses YouTube to highlight crime hotspots and to focus on positive work done in the communities they serve.

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