2007-05-30 : Letters : Merely managing crime


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2007-05-30 : Letters : Merely managing crime

Postby GOSA » Fri, 2007-06-08 09:26

Merely managing crime
Witness letters Wed, 30 May 2007

CRIME is always in the news in South Africa. Recently there has
been a lot in the media about what ordinary citizens of this
country can do about it.

Many years ago people in our lane got together and started a
group that meets every month. Everybody has alarms, armed
response, dogs and burglar bars, and when we moved into the area
we were presented with a radio to communicate rapidly in time of
need. Just over a year ago, the group decided to employ a
security company to patrol our lane.

We also have a very good relationship with the local police
station and the community policing forum. Twice a year, an
indaba is held for domestic workers and they are briefed about

We were hailed as a shining example of a proactive group and
other people followed our example.

The level of crime has dropped in our vicinity, but it has risen
in areas not far away. We have succeeded in keeping ourselves
safe, but pushed crime elsewhere. And every night as we sleep
soundly, people’s lives are at risk protecting us. Is this what
is meant by doing something about crime?

The problem is just being managed rather than addressed at its
root. Middle-class people spend R14 billion on private security
annually. If we looked at the causes, driven by a greedy
capitalist system that deepens poverty, increases unemployment
and widens the gap between rich and poor, we might actually be
able to do something about it.

I think those who have the money to protect themselves would
happily give up their contribution to the R14 billion pool and
redirect their money to deal with the causes of crime, if they
knew this would make South Africa a safer place.

The long-term benefits of investing in welfare far outweigh the
short-term obsession with managing crime.

My household would happily redirect its contribution. Would



Letter shortened.
What have YOU done for YOUR rights today?
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