Firstly, to the resident who SMS’d last week about the derelict house in Somerset Ave, the formal processes for remedy have been exhausted and the issue has now been handed over to the enforcement team for action to be taken against the property owner. Unfortunately these things do take time but you can rest assured that in the background the cogs are moving.
To the land owners in Essex and Enfield roads who are working to clean up their derelict buildings, thank you very much for doing your bit to rid this community of grime and contribute to our efforts to combat crime. With the support of eThekwini officials we are also following up on other derelict houses including those in Evans Rd, Davenport Ave, Macdonald Rd and Bartle Rd.
You might ask what it is that you can do as a member of this community, or any other for that matter, to contribute to cleaning up and improving safety? In short, you can help in one of two areas: crime and grime. Combating crime is only effective when the community partners with SAPS, and getting involved with the Community Policing Forum is the most effective way of achieving that. Neighbourhood watches which work in conjunction with the CPF are another. Ridding our community of grime makes criminals feel less at home, and when we feel safer to be out and about in our numbers, we reduce the spaces in which criminals operate. We do this by maintaining our buildings, keeping vacant plots and bushes under control, cleaning our parks, and ensuring our public infrastructure is in a good state of repair.
You can help by taking initiative where you see a problem to either mobilise community members and tackle the problem ourselves or to work with public officials to find a solution. We have much to do in both combating crime and ridding our community of grime but a collective desire to improve will ensure we see the change we need. Inch by inch, with the support of community members, we will make Umbilo and Glenwood among the safest and most friendly places to live in eThekwini.
Warwick Chapman, Ward Councillor for Glenwood and Umbilo
NOTE: This statement is here because I played a role in creating it while eThekwini Campaign Manager in the 2011 Local Government Elections.
Cllr Ronnie Veeran
DA eThekwini Mayoral Candidate
21 April 2011
The Democratic Alliance recognises the need for safe and clean communities where people can live and work free from fear and danger. We recognise that the community itself has a central role to play in the fight against crime and that a partnership between South African Police Service, private security and the community and the municipality is required to reduce crime in eThekwini.
The Democratic Alliance has a plan to reduce the space in our communities which allows criminals to operate.
A DA government in eThekwini would ensure that:
- in partnership with SAPS, functioning Community Policing Fora will be established in every policing area in the Metro and will engage in real crime prevention activities;
- we will establish a small, effective Community Safety unit to initiate and support the establishment of street and neighbourhood watches to work with CPFs based on best practices learned from around the Metro;
- we will support and encourage reasonable partnerships between communities and private security to secure neighbourhoods and streets;
- Metro Police specialised units will be re-established and revitalised to combat specific crime types and Metro Police will be required to participate in all CPF activities in their area;
- we will increase communication and collaboration between CPF leadership, SAPS station commanders and Metro Police commanders;
- all councillors will be required to involve themselves in CPF and neighbourhood watch activities.
The primary role of crime prevention and investigating crimes falls with the SAPS who are a Provincial and National run competency. Our Metro Police service do play a role in crime fighting, and must play a greater role going forward. Some communities run neighbourhood watches and vibrant Community Policing forums but many others do not.
Any criminal who enters a neighbourhood with an intention to commit a crime is unable to do so without being seen by a member of the community. Improved communication between community members, the SAPS, private security and Metro Police can be the difference between a crime being committed or prevented.
Crime is a complex problem, deeply integrated into our social fabric. We recognise that all three spheres of government need to play a role in combating and preventing crime in our communities. A DA government in eThekwini will ensure that the fight against crime is a top priority.
On Sunday September 19 about 50 residents of the community either side of Glenugie Rd gathered at Manna Manor to form a neighbourhood watch in the area. The power of this simple concept was demonstrated when, within 3 days, the first house breaker had been arrested as a resulted of neighbours communicating, other watches assisting and private security acting on good information.
The Pinetown CPF established its 9th CPF-affiliated Neighbourhood Watch in Cowie’s Hill last week. Andreas Mathios, our NW guru better known as Superman, aims to found 100 within a year. Between active, connected and collaborating NW’s and the strengthing partnership of the CPF with the Pinetown SAPS, we will turn the tide against crime.
The rate of crime must peak now. As a community, we must draw a line, and then work together to bring it down one year after another.
– Warwick Chapman
The release of the 2009/10 Crime Statistics on Thursday 9 September paint an increasingly bleak picture for the state of crime and policing in Pinetown. The Pinetown policing area was listed at the top of the list of most crime his areas in KZN.
Residential housebreakings are up 49% at 1626 from 1089 in the previous year. Robberies at businesses at homes have increased from 4 each in 2003/4 to 108 and 148 respectively in 2009/10, increases of 2600% and 3600% in 7 reporting years.
Working with the revived Community Policing Forum, we have asked some tough questions of Brig. Zama, the Pinetown Station Commander trying to establish why it is that Pinetown SAPS appears to be losing the war against crime in this area.
Brig. Zama contends that he cannot do the job of fighting and preventing crime in Pinetown with only half the vehicles and only two-thirds of the staff allocated to him actually available for service. That may well be the case, and to that end the CPF has drafted a memorandum to the Provincial Commissioner of Police (copied to National Commissioner) requesting urgent intervention to correct the staffing and vehicle shortages in Pinetown.
The being said, there are still around 45 vehicles operational at the Pinetown Station and yet only 1 or sometimes 2 patrol vehicles are assigned to each of the 3 policing sectors in the vast and highly populated Pinetown Policing area. Surely in a crisis situation like this one, the top priority should be visible policing and crime prevention and thus every possible resource should be allocated accordingly.
While many questions abound, we are absolutely certain of one thing: without the support of the community, the Police will not be able to turn the tide in the fight against crime in Pinetown. Working with the CPF structures in Pinetown, we will continue to support Pinetown SAPS as well as play our important oversight role on behalf of the community.
As part of an initiative by the Pinetown Community Policing Forum (CPF), a few residents in this area are interested in forming a neighbourhood watch in the area of Manors indicated in the map below.
In order to initiate action, a meeting will be held on Sunday 19 September, starting 14h30 at Manna Manor next to Fourways Spar introducing residents to the concept and gathering contact details. Refreshments will be available.
Neighbourhood Watches are extremely effective in reducing crime and assisting the Police to catch the perpetrators thereof. Pinetown CPF already works with NW’s in the Cowie’s Hill, Hatton Estate and Leeds Crescent (Pro-Act) areas of Pinetown.
Any queries should be directed to Lorraine Bell (082 458 8866) or Warwick Chapman (083 7797 094)