We need more effort in the fight against crime
THE recently released crime statistics tell us one thing: We must all double our efforts in the fight against crime. We all have a role to play as a society to ensure we are safe where we stay. Blaming the police for not doing enough is disingenuous and honestly unfair. We know the criminals in our areas but we shield them from the law. We have adopted the culture and belief that as long as they are not terrorising us here at home we are fine. That mentality is very dangerous. As much as they don’t commit the crimes in their areas, criminals from other areas come to where we stay and course havoc.
If every community would speak out and name those criminals, the entire country will become safer and ultimately the crime rate will drop drastically. We can’t expect police to arrest criminals that they don’t know. We are our own downfall by harbouring them, and crying wolf later doesn’t do anyone justice. We need to stand up and reclaim our streets. We need to work hand in hand with police. We must go back to the era of street committees and Community Policing Forums. Such initiatives will deter criminals and reduce crime. We need to stop being a reactive society and become proactive in our approach to crime fighting.
While Police Minister Fikile Mbalula publicly declares war on crime and vows to dish out the same amount of violence received from criminals, the war won’t be won without our input. By working closely with police, we will know firsthand the challenges they face and the limitations that exist within the different police stations. This will, in turn, encourage those who have lost faith in the police system to start reporting crimes. The effects of crime have a long-lasting impact on communities and the lives of the victims. Ensuring that crime is nipped in the butt will have a positive impact for future generations. We need a country where people are not afraid to walk to the shops in the evening. We need to create a society where we won’t have to fear driving at night because we might be hijacked.
There is an African proverb that says “it takes a village to raise a child”. That should also be the case when it comes to ensuring the safety of communities. We need to be our neighbour’s keeper, be each other’s ears and eyes. We must be the first point of contact to police maintaining order in our communities. Failing to do so, we will always say police are failing communities. It is actually the other way around, communities are failing the police. We lie to them in order to protect the criminals we know. We don’t report unemployed people owning a top of the range vehicles. We instead ask for lifts and tip them off when police conduct operations in our areas. Let us change that. Let us step up to the table and tackle the issue of crime head-on.