Community involvement is key to fighting crime

Community involvement is key to fighting crime. Picture: File

Community involvement is key to fighting crime. Picture: File

Published Feb 26, 2024


Following the announcement of the crime figures by Police Minister Bheki Cele, security company has highlighted the significance of citizen participation in the battle against crime.

According to statistics, murder cases had increased by 2.1% while sexual offences went down by 1.7%. Police registered 7 710 murder cases between October and December 2023, up from 7 555 during the same period the previous year. They opened 15 284 sexual offences cases, down from 15 545 in 2022.

Charnel Hattingh, group head of communications and marketing at Fidelity Services Group, said that neighbourhood watches were an integral part of any community, serving as the eyes and ears of the police, law enforcement agencies, and security companies.

“South Africa has thousands of police officers on duty every day, backed up with armed response companies and other law enforcement organisations. A key element to this teamwork approach is members of the public also doing their bit to support policing and law enforcement efforts,” said Hattingh.

“If people are wondering about how they can keep themselves safe from these types of crime, then they should look no further than the organisations that are active right on their doorstep. They need your support and they need you to speak up when you see anything suspicious in your community.

“Neighbourhood watches are an integral part of any community, serving as the eyes and ears for police, law enforcement and security companies. These groups are made up of individuals who sacrifice their time by looking out for their fellow residents, despite often having limited resources at their disposal.

“Community security groups are an integral part of any security network. These individuals volunteer with the motivation to keep a handle on crime in their area,” she added.

She said neighbourhood watches played a significant role in crime prevention; some charged minimum membership fees and others fund raise through community events.

The fees and fundraisers help in resourcing the watch, but they always require more support to operate.

“The police simply cannot be everywhere, all the time. Armed response companies have also deployed the very best in technology backed by well-trained and equipped response officers. Alongside these, an active, well-resourced neighbourhood watch will always be of benefit to any area,” said Hattingh.

“Please make contact with your local watch and find out how you can assist them, from volunteering for a patrol to supporting their fundraising drives so that they can buy the equipment they need. The work they do, benefits you and your family.”