After feeling furious about the crimexpo website for a while, I decided to co-opt a friend and begin exploration as to what we, the citizens could do to help.
This goes to my point about positive contributions. I believe that only after all avenues have been attempted, can one justify the economic terrorism Mr Watson is perpetrating.
Further I believe I have no right to put someone else's job at risk if I am not willing to give up my own job to send the government a message. And I am guessing Mr Watson is no such martyr.
So we met the SA Police Services liaison officer for Sandton and the liaison officer for Sandton north. Both were fantastically constructive and gave us a good breakdown of what is happening with regard to community involvement.
As a follow up to that, I attended a braai with the Sandton precinct staff today and met the community members involved in assisting the police. During my visit I met the director of the Sandton precinct and he was enormously enthusiastic about involving the community further. I meet with him next week to outline a needs analysis.
I am also attending the Community Policing Forum for Sandton on Wednesday next week.
Despite contributions from various companies and people, notably Rand Merchant Bank and the JSE, it is evident that much can be done. I was astonished to find that my outreach, as a citizen, is very rare.
I have not posted any of the contact details for the people above yet, but will do so once I have formalised a plan of action. It is apparent that some things are happening in the community and at national level (e.g. Business against Crime), but these might be better coordinated.
So I'll end off with a challenge. Will you try to find a way to make a positive contribution, or merely find reason to mount destructive criticism?
Of course I realise most of us have very limited time. But even a visit to your local police station to introduce yourself can help things along. Further, you may know someone who is retired or able to help out one morning a week. Simple things like phoning complainants to book appointments for investigators can help.
Or since many of us pay large amounts to private security companies each month, pressuring them to plow back some of their profits into investments and training for your local police can help.
Will you take up the challenge?