Nip crime in the bud

2016-05-26 06:00
Dan Plato, the MEC for Community Safety, Colonel Michael Reitz, station commander of Lingelethu West Police Station, Pheliswa Faba-Marman, Proportional Representation (PR) Councillor of Subcouncil 10, Mlingani Mbanga, chairperson for neighbourhood watch, Michael Krause, of VPUU, Councillor Rider Mkhutswana, of Ward 97 and Warrant Officer Michael Mzikayise Shosha, during the hand over of the kiosk, in Town Two, on Tuesday. PHOTO: Mbongiseni Maseko

Dan Plato, the MEC for Community Safety, Colonel Michael Reitz, station commander of Lingelethu West Police Station, Pheliswa Faba-Marman, Proportional Representation (PR) Councillor of Subcouncil 10, Mlingani Mbanga, chairperson for neighbourhood watch, Michael Krause, of VPUU, Councillor Rider Mkhutswana, of Ward 97 and Warrant Officer Michael Mzikayise Shosha, during the hand over of the kiosk, in Town Two, on Tuesday. PHOTO: Mbongiseni Maseko

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The fight against crime was given a boost as neighbourhood watch members in Town Two were given a kiosk to make their community tasks easier.

Dan Plato, the MEC for Community Safety, said the kiosk will provide the members with shelter and also serve as a mobile office.

Plato applauded the neighbourhood watch member for their part in keeping their community safe.

“The kiosk can be wherever in the community and use it to the fullest. We need to work together to fight crime and to keep our communities safe. You are doing a great work here. You must also stay vigilant. Safety is everyone’s responsibility.

The stipend that you are getting can also help you put food on the table and to buy electricity, for instance,” he said.

Plato also remembered the walkabout he was involved in when some youths terrorised the area with criminal activities and gang related fights.

The kiosk will also serve as a hub to provide free Wi-Fi to residents when they are around its vicinity.

Neighbourhood watch is working in partnership with Violence Prevention through Urban Upgrading (VPUU), South African Police Service, the City of Cape Town and the provincial government.

Michael Krause, of VPUU, praised the partnership formed and said it was bearing fruits.

“They (neighbourhood watch) are doing a tremendous job in Town Two. They visit illegal outlets and ask the owners if they are willing to change their business.

One of our plans is to offer shebeen owners an alternative business. About 80 percent of residents told us that alcohol is a problem and it is linked to crime in the area,” Krause said.

Colonel Michael Reitz, station commander of Lingelethu West Police Station, said he was grateful for the partnership.

“Alcohol is a big problem and it is linked to crime. This is a wonderful project and I believe it will help to address crime,” Reitz said.

Councillor Rider Mkhutswana, of Ward 97, also emphasised the negative role that alcohols plays in the community.

“We have noticed that people are drinking too much, that is why we have this project.

I know that they (neighbourhood watch) face a lot of problems in the community. I have also been giving them a space in my office to work. If we are doing a good job we are just doing a good job. If you come here to play politics you are too late.

We need to work together to uplift the community and put politics aside,” Mkhutswana said.

Mlingani Mbanga, chairperson of the neighbourhood watch said they have managed to decrease the levels of crime in the area in recent years.

“This kiosk will help us a lot with shelter when it rains. We will also move it to the hot spots of crime. We will also be able to give information to residents about crimes such as domestic violence and encourage them to open cases with police.

Street robberies and house breakings were rife here, but we managed to reduce their levels. We are always visible,” he said.

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