Effective crime prevention

Rodney Brown, Westridge

In response to the article on base camps being set up across the Cape Flats (“Back to bas(e)ics,” Plainsman, August 1), it has become clear that while we have brief reprieve from gangsters and wrongdoers, the focus of their evil deeds will be shifted elsewhere.

While it is understood that visible policing cannot be everywhere, the onus really is on effective crime prevention forums to play a more active role along with authorities.

There are over a million people living in Mitchell’s Plain, but this once proud suburb is being held to ransom by a minority.

The base camps are a wonderful idea, especially when one reads how the vibe in the areas has suddenly become “different” and kids can now play “freely”, but it begs the question: why has it taken authorities so long to introduce this project?

The issues around crime are widespread with different modus operandi.

The issue of lane closures in the area are ongoing and corruption in police circles is rife and real.

As residents of Mitchell’s Plain, we appreciate swift action by police, speedy convictions and loyal and trustworthy men and women in blue.

Coupled with that, it is expected that communities play their part in bringing perpetrators to book and stop harbouring criminals inside their homes.

We are all aware of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act (POCA), which deals with the conviction of everyone who belongs to gangs, but this legislation has merely become a paper exercise to convict high flyers who have acquired assets through the proceeds of crime. How about going after everyone belonging to a gang? A temporary solution to this dire dilemma will be to:

Use more high schools with large grounds in Mitchell’s Plain as satellite visible policing stations in “red areas”.

Deploy police on horseback and quad bikes in these “red areas”.

Condemn the Town Centre as a no-go zone until the place is cleaned up.

Introduce rapid deployment of railway police personnel.

Introduce and integrate a collaboration with SANDF personnel.

Encourage effective and reliable working and trusting relationships between all community police forums and SAPS offices.

Root out the issue of corrupt police personnel with immediate effect.

Encourage closer and regular interaction with all schools by law enforcement and SAPS personnel.

In theory, the above sounds perfect, but in reality we sit with the same excuses of police being hamstrung by a lack of personnel and one vehicle in a sector.

This excuse, along with the disputes of budget constraints, should not even be an issue at national governmental level.

If all goes well, we may see the whole of Mitchell’s Plain on lockdown.

The question remains, would we rather prefer to be locked down with active visible policing until there is some element of consistent calm, or will we continue to see our people dying on a daily basis, with anarchy, violence and mayhem being the order of the day?

As the communities, we have some of the solutions.

Whether our government is willing to listen to us, remains to be seen.