Friday, July 21, 2006

Can you and I start the positive revolution?

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?


Dave said...

Well done, I truly admire what you are doing. THE only way for South Africa to turn around crime is for everybody to get involved.

I am saying that from the comfort of London, but involvment does not necessarily need to be direct involvment as you are doing.

Merely acknowledging the severity of the problem and not pretending that it's "not that bad" are the first steps most South Africans need to take. The backlash to seems to be mainly from people who contend that crime isn't "that bad" and we should play it down so it doesn't hurt our tourism industry. WTF !!!??!?

You seem to be of this opinion yourself, why I have no idea??

I would rather the South African economy relies on manufacturing, mining, banking, agriculture etc as its primary industries rather than tourism. The only way to ensure this will happen is to remove the crime problem. Far more investment is channelled away from South africa because of the latent crime problem than is lost through tourists being advised not to travel to SA because its dangerous.

It is the question said...

Dave, come on mate. Read every one of my posts and comments. I have never said play down crime and it is not that bad. Quite the opposite.

Crime is an horrendous problem.

Of course the South African economy must build other industries. I have been involved in that from a business point of view.

But the reality is that the mining an manufacturing industries have been shedding jobs due to a number of factors including high wages, Rand strength and increased capital intensity. These industries have to grow enormously to counteract that. Something impossible for the gold mining insutry which is in its twilight years.

On the investment losses versus tourism losses, unfortunately you are wrong. Investment dollars follow opportunities and are pretty resistant to country circumstances. Brazil, the Philipines, Indonesia and other countries bare this out. (I narrowly escaped being blown up in Indonesia on a business trip).

Read my posts more carefully before accusing me of contending crime is not that bad and playing it down.

Thanks for the compliment on my positive involvement initiative.

Dave said...

Look, I mentioned that you appeared to hold the same opinion as thousands of other South Africans who are unwilling to admit the problem is terrible because of ego about their country and/or keeping tourists from travelling to SA.

My last sentence is completely true, more money is lost through crime than through the tourists who don't travel here because of crime. Just as tourists will continue going to Indonesia, Brazil etc. they will continue coming to SA, investment will dry up quicker than tourism though, thats for sure. There are still tourists at Vic Falls, look at Zims economy.

*%&$ tourism, I'd rather crime was sorted! In your second paragraph you referred to a crime website as "economic terrorism". I apologise if I mistook this comment for your belief that exposing South African crime to the world will hurt our economy!

PS: There are many legitimate people, businesses and organisations who would profit from crime staying exactly how it is or indeed even getting worse. For example, all security companies, security systems installers and manufacturers etc etc.

Nathan Blows said...

Let's start the postive revolution! How do I contact you?

It is the question said...

Dave: we agree on a lot. We'll agree to disagree on Crimexpo...

Nathan: I'm forging ahead with meeting with the police at the moment and will shortly publish a guide to getting involved. I'll publish a contact address below this and leave it active for 24 hours.

It is the question said...

Nathan - my contact details - temp9999_61 *at* hotmail dot com

Dave said...

Yeah, you're right we do agree on a lot.

Last thing, don't mistake my support for championing the cause of publicising crime for the implicit support of the methods adopted by Neil Watsons website. I support the website on the simple basis that it has raised the profile of crime. Just look what you are now doing!