KZN safety MEC Mxolisi Kaunda and the province's acting police commissioner, lieutenant-general Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi, at the provincial crime summit in Durban on Tuesday. Picture: ANA Reporter

Durban – Escalating crime levels and fearful communities highlighted the need for “radical action” in fighting crime, which should include a multi-disciplinary approach adopted by all stakeholders.

This was according to KwaZulu-Natal’s member of the executive council (MEC) for Transport, Community Safety and Liaison, Mxolisi Kaunda, who made the remarks during his keynote address at the province’s 2018 crime summit on Tuesday in Durban.

“Such high levels of crime in our province call for radical action among all of us charged with the responsibility of securing the people of KwaZulu-Natal. This drastic and collective action is important if we want to realise the vision set out in the National Development Plan,” said Kaunda.

The one-day summit was attended by the province’s acting provincial police commissioner, lieutenant-general Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi, police management, senior government officials, traditional leaders and representatives from the business sector.

Kaunda said the summit sought to streamline and integrate all crime-fighting initiatives in KZN, identify key drivers of crime and facilitate the relevant interventions involving all stakeholders.

He said it was important to place a renewed emphasis on a multi-pronged approach in responding to crime and to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of the criminal justice system.

“Our province is plagued by various forms of crime which have left pain and suffering with citizens. If you talk about murders, KwaZulu-Natal is leading in the country,” said Kaunda.  

“Recently, we have witnessed an increase in violence in schools and tertiary institutions which has resulted in the loss of lives of students and educators. I am pleased to report that working with the Community Policing Forum (CPF) youth desk we have launched a compass safety programme to create a safe environment in institutions of higher learning in the province,” he said.

It was therefore important for the summit to reflect on how to put young people at the forefront of crime fighting initiatives by strengthening the already existing programmes such as the schools' safety and compass safety programmes, he said.

Kaunda said he had also stressed the importance of adequate allocation of resources to police stations, including satellite police stations, to improve service delivery.

Kaunda said he had urged the police to be on high alert in hostels around eThekwini, such as Glebelands and KwaMashu, to ensure that violence did not flare up again.

“We are also closely monitoring the Tehuise, Dalton and KK hostels as they are often used as hideouts by criminals who are causing instability in Glebelands and KwaMashu hostels,” he said.

The summit should also engage on enhancing the entire criminal justice system, he said. The summit ends on Tuesday afternoon, with a number of resolutions expected to be adopted.

African News Agency (ANA)