POLICE ACADEMY: Youth will be put through their paces, like these cadets, to fight crime. Picture: GALLO IMAGES
In an effort to fight crime, the Phoenix SAPS has roped in the young in the township north of Durban to form youth policing forums.
The youth desk concept was set up to help motivate the youth and get them involved in the battle against crime. It also offers the young people a platform to speak from and empowers them to tackle problems affecting them.
During the weekend in a near chaotic elective conference at Earlington Secondary School, over 300 youths from all six sectors of the Phoenix station voted in the executive committee of the youth police forum.
Newly elected vice-chairperson of the executive committee, Cameron Govender said: “ We as the youth are rightly positioned for this task because we know who these drug dealers and criminals are, we live with them in our society every day, so let us participate in the drive to make our area safer.”
Addressing the youth, Phoenix Station Commander Brig Phumelele Makoba said: “I am happy that you are concerned about what is happening in your communities. We as the police can’t do it on our own, so we rely on you to bring the criminals to book.”
Natasha Naidoo, 18, said she and her siblings would gladly take part in youth policing activities because they want to live in a safe environment. “One night coming from college I was mugged and nearly raped so I don’t want any women to experience that,” she said.
“Mostly the youths are the victims and perpetrators of crime so it will be a big mistake if we leave youth out in our fight against crime,” said Phoenix Visual Policing Commander, Col Themba Mabaso.
The youth will receive light police training on areas regarding citizen policing and they will be working closely with the community police forums and the sector managers from the SAPS.
Minority Front councillor Patrick Pillay said: “Drugs, gangsterism, housebreaking and robbery are the major crimes here in Phoenix, so the MF supports this fantastic initiative that brings crime awareness to the youths. Crime is real and the fight against crime is a serious issue.”
The youth executive committee was also urged to come up with other projects that benefit them and their surrounding communities.