Given the rise in Gender-Based Violence (GBV) and homicide cases in South Africa, commuters are becoming more discombobulated. “Our children no longer care when they see a dead body. They don’t even talk about it because this has become part of their lives. We want to change that mentality and allow our communities to live normal lives,” said the New Brighton Anti-Crime Community Movement Spokesperson.
New Brighton Anti-Crime Community Movement is made up of 100 people from New Brighton, Port Elizabeth who volunteered to become street patrollers. They emphasized that they will not be a vigilante group and pledged to work with the police and the justice department to ensure criminals are sent to prison.
“We decided to pull together our resources and help our street patrollers. Every resident of this township who is a peace-loving person is welcome. People donated a minimum of R5 per person. The level of crime in this area is alarming, and residents have come to a point where they simply accept living with it. We want to change that mentality and claim back our streets,” said one of the movement’s leaders, who also wanted to remain anonymous,” said Spokesperson.
She said they will form committees in all areas of New Brighton before they make one group and choose their leaders. She said there were street committees before, but these were no longer active.
One resident said, “We will be working together as residents to identify and apprehend criminals. We will stop criminals in their tracks. We want to stop any criminal activity here. We will work together with the police and surrender suspects to them. We will do our best to collect enough evidence so perpetrators of crime are convicted”.
Police spokesperson, Capt Andre Beetge urged communities to work with police to identify and apprehend criminals.“We have community policing forums and we urge residents to work with them. We also discourage community organisations from taking the law into their hands by practising mob justice,” said Beetge.