THE ward councillor of Eastwood Mike Amod has urged community members to forge a united front in a fight against crime in the area. He was speaking at the community dialogue event spearheaded by ward 34 war room in partnership with the Department of Community Safety and liaison last weekend ( March 7) under the theme: “My Community my responsibility”. Eastwood area is among areas in Msunduzi municipality where crime and drug usage is prevalent. According to community members who attended the dialogue, this is worsened by non-adherence to liquor board rules and regulations by local tavern owners. One of the residents Brenda Patrick said the community is concerned about local high school students who are often found loitering around at the vicinity of taverns and indulge in drugs. “Our greatest concern is with school bus drivers (Omalume) who hang around with school kids at the park and have booze together,” she said.Mzwandile Goge, who is the chairperson of the war room, said they are planning to establish safety forums that will look closely at school safety from primary school level. “Experience has taught us that gangsters and substance abuse begins at school,” he said. Lack of economic opportunities, non-availability of sporting facilities, youth skills development and non-involvement of youth on issues affecting them are among contributing factors to problems faced by this community, according to the community’s feedback during dialogue.Sector departments and non-government organisations like Liquor Authority, Correctional services, Msunduzi Area Based Management Office, District Community policing forum, East Side Pastors Fraternal, Sage NGO, and senior citizens clubs were also present to enlighten the community about their services and programmes. – Supplied.