Bring back street committees

Unpeaceful Alex homes and shacks. Photo: Leseho Manala

 

A local councillor is concerned about residents’ indifference to crime and gangsterism said to be entrenched in the community and in schools.

This according to Ward 76 councillor Moses Pandeka, about criminals who take advantage of residents’ silence to rob, maim, murder with impunity and make streets no-go areas at certain times of the day.

Read: Ward councillors in Alex and their contact details

Weekly statistics presented by the police show an unrelenting trend in contact crimes including rape, murder, robberies, business and housebreaking in the township. “It will increase as long as residents are unconcerned when they can’t walk freely on their own streets, live in fear in their homes and can’t rely on each other’s support for protection due to lack of a community spirit, “Pandeka said.

He said residents should realise that they alone created the conditions for their victimhood by letting criminals among them thrive by not informing the police. “Also, by creating conditions for children to emulate the criminals when neighbours have stopped caring for each other’s offsprings. “Attempts to reestablish street committees which were effective in the past have failed due to residents’ preoccupation with their own issues and claim to be busy at work when called to public meetings.”

Read: Ward councillors: What they actually do

Pandeka urged residents to understand that police will succeed in curbing crime only when told about the criminals to enable them to act proactively. “Currently, officers only react after incidents are reported, too late to save victims. Much as we expect them to deter crime through high visibility, it won’t be possible due to limited resources in the four township clusters and residents not participating in crime-awareness campaigns conducted regularly by the police and community police forum. “The uncaring attitude has also enabled crime to extend to schools where gangs which include girls are conduits for seasoned criminals to infiltrate drugs to pupils and dangerous weapons which threat safety in schools which will soon be ungovernable.”

Read: Learner suspended over alleged assault

Pandeka urged for a solution to the problem through better resourcing of forums, improved relationship between residents with the police and school governing bodies, resuscitating street committees and a spirit of neighbourliness including of new migrants with established residents of the township.

Details: Moses Pandeka 082 865 4647

  AUTHOR
Leseho Manala

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