The police, government and the community of New Brighton in Port Elizabeth came together in an effort to address the scourge of crime in the community.
Various disciplines of the SAPS, Departments of Social Development, Health, Sport and Recreation, Basic Education and Public Works visited the New Brighton and surrounding areas at Nangoza Jebe Hall on Friday as part of a community outreach programme.
The campaign aims to solicit the commitment from various NGO’s and community structures, as well as business and religious sectors to ensure that communities create platforms such as drug action committees and Tavern Owners Forums to deal with the responsible sale and consumption of alcohol.
Police spokesperson, Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo said that substance abuse, which includes drug and alcohol abuse are known to be the biggest crime generators in almost all communities.
He said the abuse of these substances more often than not, are leading to more serious crimes such as murders, rapes, robberies, assaults, house breakings and gangsterism.
“In different communities in our country, the abuse of tik, (crystal meth or methamphetamine), dagga and alcohol remains a huge challenge, which also continues to aggravate poverty and further contributes to child abuse and gender violence,” said Naidoo.
Naidoo said that the SAPS has committed to ensure that all schools are linked to police stations and that school safety committees are in place and sustained.
Strategies to prevent crime
Naidoo said police will continue to revise and implement strategies to prevent and combat crime through regular patrols and planned operations.
As part of the SAPS’ commitment and the Safer Schools Project, Naidoo said 167 schools were visited in the Motherwell Cluster, including New Brighton, KwaZakhele, Motherwell, Kwadwesi, Ikamvelihle, Swartkops, Kinkelbos and Paterson areas over the past week.
“Under the same banner there are two major campaigns which SAPS have initiated and ran annually for the past few years. The first is the Schools March and Drill Competition and the second the Schools Debate Competition.
“The main aim of both these competitions are to involve our youth to take part in activities which generates discipline and education against crimes in our communities, as well as to raise awareness against drugs, alcohol abuse and gangsterism. These campaigns have since reached great heights whereby children are now competing on a National level.
“The SAPS through our national, provincial and cluster initiatives are working around the clock to ensure that significant breakthroughs are made in the illegal alcohol and drug trade,” Naidoo said.