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ESTABLISHMENT OF NEIGHBOURHOOD CRIME WATCH SCHEME PROGRAMME

Introduction

Section 55 of the Urban Government Act (1969), under General duties, empowers Council to control, manage and administer the municipality, as well as ensure that public order is maintained. In order to make this a reality, Council’s five-year strategic plan or Integrated Development Plan (IDP), under promotion of participatory governance, advocates for the establishment of crime prevention forums, with strategic stakeholders like the Royal Swaziland Police (RSP), business community and residents. A classical example of efforts aimed at enhancing participatory governance, Council during 2016/17 financial year, set aside E15 000 for use in establishing a neighbourhood crime watch scheme within the urban area. Since stakeholder involvement is key in ensuring that such a programme becomes a reality, the Royal Swaziland Police (RSP), Komati Basin Water Authority (KOBWA) and Municipal Council of Mbabane were brought on board to kick-start this noble initiative. As a result, a total of fifteen (15) volunteers were trained in March 2017, during a two-day workshop on crime prevention and presented with tools such as batons, handcuffs, rain suits, whistles, torches, reflector vests and caps, for use at community or ward level.  

Programme Objective

The main objective of this programme is to promote crime prevention and public safety, through engaging the town’s residents and stakeholders at grass root level. This was achieved through the involvement of selected volunteers from all the six Wards, namely; Malandalahle, Mangwaneni, Glen Township, SEDCO / town centre, Macambeni, and Nazarene.

Basis for implementing this programme;

  1. Glen Township has private security, that have been resourceful in setting up this scheme. Moreover, a couple of years ago, break-ins occurred within this township and it was resolved that a neighbourhood crime watch scheme be established
  2. We have experienced a rise in crimes such as murder, mostly associated with bars or bottle stores, as well as domestic violence cases.
  3. Mangwaneni and Macambeni Township are upgrading areas, with rental houses occupied by sex workers (classified as key population), who are a security threat due to the trade they are in and end up being abused.

Stakeholder’s Roles

Since this programme is a partnership between Pigg’s Peak Town Council, the Royal Swaziland Police (RSP), Komati Basin Water Authority (KOBWA) and the Municipal Council of Mbabane, all the partners have roles to play, that   are as follows;

  1. Council – Provide funding and coordinate the initiative
  2. RSP – Provide expertise in crime prevention
  3. Municipal Council of Mbabane – Provide expertise in the establishment of crime prevention schemes in the local government context
  4. KOBWA – Provide security personnel and funding to RSP for awareness creation

Programme sustainability

To ensure that this programme becomes sustainable, Council will mobilise funds annually for use in conducting ongoing training for the volunteers and convening stakeholder meetings, in order to create awareness on crime prevention.