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AfriForum’s national patrol creates hope

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This past weekend, the civil rights organization AfriForum involved 141 communities across the country in its national patrol initiative. This patrol aims to mobilize communities against crime, but also to ensure high visibility and cooperation between safety role players on a national and regional level.

Approximately 2 700 AfriForum members and 1 600 other safety role players participated in the patrol. A total distance of 85 288 km was completed in 2 470 vehicles. More than 110 incidents were handled successfully.

Other groups that participated included several private neighborhood watches, security companies, community policing forums, towing services, police stations, local businesses, paramedic services, and traffic departments.

“The number of persons and different safety institutions that participated in AfriForum’s national patrol this weekend shows the necessity of these types of actions. Cooperation such as this is needed to curb crime and increase the community’s resilience,” says Hillel Coetzer, AfriForum’s Head of Safety for the northern region.

“It is refreshing to notice the number of communities that decide to become involved with our safety structures. It feels as if we’re moving in the right direction. It also creates trust within communities and increases awareness and resilience to fight crime in their areas. Good cooperation between neighborhood watches, the SAPS, and local safety institutions enables AfriForum’s security structures to successfully conduct actions such as the national patrol and to assist the community in times of need,” says Joseph Renaud, AfriForum’s Head of Safety for the central region.

“High visibility patrols are proactive – it discourages criminals from committing a crime, but at the same time brings about hope in communities. It is therefore important that these types of projects are regularly conducted with all safety role players in the community. Community leaders should take the initiative and launch these projects locally,” concludes Johandré van Zyl, AfriForum’s Head of Safety for the southern region.

Zandri Brümmer