Work in unity to fight crime, says eThekwini deputy mayor
WORKING together to fight crime in eThekwini was the resounding message from Deputy Mayor Fawzia Peer at a Safety and Justice Business Forum meeting at Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry recently.
Addressing business owners, individuals as well as Metro Police present, Peer said government remains firmly committed to creating a better life for all citizens and was working to ensure levels of safety.
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She said she wanted a bigger response to calls to unite from businesses and the SAPS, and mentioned how disappointing it was that no SAPS representatives had attended the meeting.
“Cross-order criminal networks are involved in drugs, human trafficking and hijackings and we need to reiterate the need to release stats to quantify crime. There is an increase in robbery with aggravating circumstances such as business and house robberies and hijackings, and I feel the most effective measure to curb this is citizens, SAPS, and businesses working together,“ said Peer.
Peer called for the need of short and long-term solutions such as identifying what technological measures could be created, the initiation of pilot projects in the form of partnerships with SAPS and businesses and a need for greater information sharing such as auditing of hot spots and the release of data. In the case of hijackings, police needed to make use of technology to assist police in tracking down vehicles.
Peer said the approach was simple – to give the police the power they needed to catch criminals, for the courts to have the power to convict criminals and for the prisons to have the capacity to take criminals off the streets.
Chris Overall gave a presentation on stats, and what had been done since the last meeting at the Chamber where the issue of mall robberies had been highlighted.
He said there had been 230 cash-in-transit heists since January and an increase of 150 per cent in robberies in the retail industry.
“The way to start to reduce crime risks is to find out what the risky business types or tenants are and why they are at risk, what the current ‘hot commodities ‘ in crime incidents are, where the incidents are happening, what assets we have and where, such as technology, security companies and police, what level of security measures are being defeated by offenders and who the criminals are, “ he said.
Overall said so far a data set of shopping malls had been compiled and SA Property Owners Association had been engaged to source business park data to create a data set.
“We have also sourced data for Snyper licence plate recognition system (LPRS) to supplement municipal LPRS camera systems, “ he said.
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