United in the Fight Against Crime

www.MyPE.co.za: In a
drive to further mobilise and empower communities in helping the police
fight crime, General Motors South Africa (GMSA)
has made eight Corsa
Utility vehicles available to neighbourhood patrols in the city.

The hand over recently of South Africa’s top selling half ton bakkies,
has given the i-Patrol project a major boost in expanding its reach in
the local community. i-Patrol, which is a joint venture between the
South African Police Services (SAPS), community policing forums, Nelson
Mandela Bay Municipality, Williams
Hunt Port Elizabeth
and Algoa
FM
,
aims to promote closer co-operation between the police and the
community.

i-Patrol follows an anti-crime awareness project, Crime Crackdown, an
initiative GMSA started last year in partnership with Algoa FM, which
now moves beyond awareness to visibility on the streets.

According to Denise van Huyssteen, GMSA’s Communications Manager, the
company views crime prevention as one of the core areas of focus in
terms of corporate social responsibility. She said crime affected every
single person in the city and that every individual should have the
freedom to live and work in a safe and secure environment. “We should
move from apathy to action if we are serious about driving crime out of
our neighbourhoods,” she added.

The cluster commanders for the Motherwell and Mount Road clusters,
assistant commissioner Johan Kapp and assistant commissioner Dawie
Rabie, said that vehicles are a vital resource in the fight against
crime. They said areas where neighbourhood watch patrols are active,
have proven to be less affected by crime. Motherwell and Kabega Park
are prime examples of areas where crime had reduced as a result of
effective community policing according to the assistant commissioners.
“As much as crime prevention is the work of the police, it is
everyone’s responsibility to help them do their job efficiently and
effectively. An initiative like i-Patrol is a prime example of how
working together can assist to eliminate criminal activity,” they said.

The police need the support of the community to help combat crime they
said. Both Rabie and Kapp concurred that crime takes place at community
level and that community members are often aware of who commit these
crimes. “This helps the police to persecute the suspects and ultimately
prosecute them.”

The neighbourhood patrols that receive Corsa Utilities today were
chosen after a stringent selection process whereby sector crime forums
submitted proposals which provide evidence of success, current
performance and how utilisation of vehicles would enhance
effectiveness. The recipients of the vehicles include Gelvandale,
Swartkops, Humewood, Kwazakhele, Kabega Park, Bethelsdorp, New Brighton
and Walmer. This is a pilot project which will be reviewed after a year.

Source: PERCCI.

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