Youth Desk seeks solutions to crime

2015-12-02 06:00
Photo: Makhosandile Zulu Provincial commissioner Lieutenant General Mmamonnye Ngobeni, KwaDukuza cluster commander Brigadier Bheki Zondi and provincial CPF chairperson Desmond Mntambo at the Youth Desk dialogue on crime.

Photo: Makhosandile Zulu Provincial commissioner Lieutenant General Mmamonnye Ngobeni, KwaDukuza cluster commander Brigadier Bheki Zondi and provincial CPF chairperson Desmond Mntambo at the Youth Desk dialogue on crime.

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THE Department of Community Safety and Liaison held a youth desk dialogue at the Thukela Community Hall in Mandeni on Friday, 27 November.

The session was attended by the provincial commissioner, Lieutenant General Mmamonnye Ngobeni, KwaZulu-Natal Community Policing Forum (CPF) chairperson Desmond Mntambo, KwaZulu-Natal Youth Desk chairperson Lungelo Zulu, Cluster Commander Brigadier Bheki Zondi and members of the police force as well as of the public.

The purpose of the dialogue was to have discussions on how relevant stakeholders can curb crime in the province in general and the iLembe District in particular.

Several crimes and social ills such as alcohol and drug abuse, rape, murder, and faction fights that disrupt schooling were some of the issues that were raised.

Youth Desk chairperson Lungelo Zulu said crime is a serious social concern, listing muggings, and abuse and cop killings as some of the worrying offenses.

Keeping in line with the theme of the dialogue – Placing KZN Youth in the Forefront of Fight against Crime – Zulu urged young people to actively be part of efforts to combat crime.

“They [young people] have the power to change the situation and make their communities safer. We have the power, criminals do not have the power,” said Zulu.

He encouraged young people to avoid committing crimes and refrain from purchasing stolen goods. He said most crimes are committed by young people.

In light of the launch of this year’s 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children campaign last Wednesday, Zulu appealed to young men to desist from abusing and raping women and children.

He said crime has been “normalised” in most societies and that young people are partly to blame for this since they turn a blind eye on crime.

Emphasising his point, he said illegal practices such as the use of marijuana have become socially acceptable.

He added that young people treat known criminals who reside in their respective communities as celebrated figures which further fuels the condition where crime becomes a normal part of these communities.

Furthermore, he said community members do not report known perpetrators of crime to the police because of this state where crime has been “normalised”.

Zulu said the provincial Youth Desk distances itself from the call that police should shoot to kill due to the spate of cop killings throughout the country.

He said police should rather shoot to disarm suspects, adding that what is important is that individual police should assess the situation they are faced with and ensure that their actions do not result with them losing their lives.

“We are not saying police must shoot to kill. We are saying that they must shoot with the intention to disarm,” he said.

In closing, Zulu advised young people to be responsible during the festive season and whenever they partake in celebratory activities.

Provincial CPF chairperson, Desmond Mntambo shared some of Zulu’s views that young people should take the initiative to ensure that communities are safer.

He echoed Zulu sentiments when he called on young people to abstain from criminal acts.

A fiery Mntambo said the recent wave of cop killings is tantamount to treason.

“The killing of police officers in our country is an insult to the state, to me, it is an attack on the state,” he said.

He said the high prevalence taverns in communities and unemployment are some of the factors that contribute to the upsurge of crime.

Mntambo concluded by calling for a revision of section 49 of the criminal procedure act, saying that citizens should not be left defenceless.

Provincial commissioner, Lieutenant General Mmamonnye Ngobeni said the involvement of young people in criminal activity is a challenge that needs to be addressed.

She said the South African Police Services’ focus is on crime prevention, detection and forming working partnerships with communities.

She said the latter is intended to encourage communities to actively take part in the fight against crime.

Speaking about the importance of community based crime prevention, Ngobeni said it works because it deals with the causes of crime which aims at the heart of the problem rather than responding to its symptoms.

“Some factors, among others, that contribute to crimes are population density, layout and housing type, image and infrastructure, transport routes, vacant land, commercial and industrial facilities, age, gender, socio-economic status, infrastructure, communication and participation in community activities and security of tenure,” said Ngobeni.

For Ngobeni’s detailed explanation of these factors please visit the Stanger Weekly Facebook page.

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