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Barberton - Parents are responsible for keeping their children away from criminal activities, the department of community safety said on Sunday.
“Women must also not allow poverty to keep them in abusive environments, which usually leads to their children being sexually abused,” Mpumalanga Community Safety MEC Vusi Shongwe said in a statement.
Shongwe was speaking at a public gathering between residents, the police and other government departments in Barberton on Saturday.
Residents called on Shongwe to strengthen law enforcement to fight crime in the area by bringing in the police's Tactical Response Team, also called “Amabherethe”.
The residents listed the increasing use of drugs by youth in the area, school pupils loitering during school hours and the rising number of rape and common crimes in the area as some of the problems in the community.
Shongwe said communities should stop promoting crime by buying stolen goods.
“These perpetrators are known in our communities, therefore communities must play a role by informing police and not protect them,” Shongwe said.
The department and the police would embark on a clean-up programme in Barberton.
They would also target non-compliant liquor stores, Shongwe said.