Businesses band together

2016-11-01 13:35

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Businesses have partnered with police and other law enforcement agencies in the fight against crime.
Established in May, the Mitchell’s Plain Business Against Crime Forum has since been meeting, with steady interest from local business people who want to see an end to crime.

“We cannot depend on police alone to end crime,” says Cassiem Gamiet, forum chairperson.

Many of the businesses involved with the forum are in the vicinity of the Town Centre and industrial park, but Gamiet urges business owners – both big and small – from all over Mitchell’s Plain to get involved.

“We need more businesses to come on board so that we can plan holistically for the whole area,” says Gamiet.

The forum was the brain child of a police officer at the Mitchell’s Plain Police Station.

Gamiet says while working at the various business hubs, business owners met regularly to discuss issues affecting them. With safety a top priority, the creation of a forum to include all businesses was agreed on.

The forum has since met several times and Gamiet says they have seen many improvements.

“[Crime] has not decreased like we would have liked it to, but it has decreased,” he says.

“The most important aspect is the safety of the consumers.”

But the fight against crime is an integrated operation, Gamiet explains.

He says various stakeholders each have a role to play and the partnerships need to be developed with entities such as Prasa, taxi associations and Law Enforcement officers.

Gamiet says the involvement of foreign business people are also key in building a solid partnership.

He encourages more business owners, ward councillors and representatives of other entities to work with them.

“We get our mandate from the floor. We need input from the floor on what to do and so they are important,” says Gamiet.

His hope is to see a working plan for the festive season as it is expected that crime will increase again during this period.

“People in Mitchell’s Plain spend their money with us and, although profit is important, we need to put back into the community,” he says.

The forum hosts meetings at the Liberty Promenade Training Centre every third Thursday of the month at 10:00.

Gamiet says he understands many owners are not always available for meetings but urges them to send representatives.

The next meeting will be held on Thursday 24 November from 10:00 to noon. For more information call Cassiem Gamiet on 082 672 1666.

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