By Dan Plato, Western Cape Minister of Community Safety:
The Policing Needs and Priorities (PNP) determination workshop held for the Mitchells Plain cluster recently produced a draft safety plan aimed at tackling the local crime problems identified.
The Safety Plan outlines 15 safety objectives and a series of activities that must be implemented by identified agencies responsible, including:
- Plans to deal with increased visible policing;
- Substance abuse;
- Improving the relationship between the SAPS and the community; and
- Continued and improved support to the different safety stakeholders such as the Neighbourhood Watch (NHW) and the Community Policing Forum (CPF).
The Department of Community Safety will help strengthen the role of the CPF through the funding available in the Expanded Partnership Programme (EPP), the EPP matching grant and the Youth Safety and Religious Partnership (YSRP).
The continued support provided thus far to the broader Mitchells Plain communities by the Department of Community Safety includes:
- The training of 55 NHW volunteers in the 2014/15 financial year and capacitating NHWs with safety equipment including reflective bibs, boots and torches;
- Almost R250 000 made available to support the partnerships with the religious fraternity through the YSRP.
- 94 School Safety Marshals made available during the 2014/15 financial year to 42 schools in Mitchells Plain to the value of more than R1.6 million; and
- Funding of R55 000 made available to the CPFs in 2014/15 through the EPP.
I note the shared concern by the cluster CPF in the availability of funds but strongly advise them to partner with the Department going forward as they only accessed 23% of the available R240 000 budgeted for the entire cluster.
We need to look at the safety problems we all face, Better Together. We need to look at all resources available to identify the actions each one of us and our organisations have to take to remove the opportunities to commit crime, to reduce the motivation to commit crime and simultaneously address the root causes responsible that leads to criminal activity.
I am confident that the cluster CPF, after formally adopting the draft safety plan, will successfully drive the implementation of the plan with the SAPS and the support of the Department of Community Safety.
Safety is everyone’s responsibility and the draft Safety Plan provides a shared ownership, responsibility and accountability to safety, not only for the communities who are served by the plan but between the various safety role players involved as well.