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Youth act against crime

Written by Gabi Khumalo

Youth matters

It is not ‘cool’ to use drugs,” was the message from Deputy Minister of Police Maggie Sotyu to young people. She was speaking at the launch of a recent Crime Prevention and Youth Mass Mobilisation campaign at Galeshewe in the Northern Cape.

“Drugs are both a crime and a cause of crime,” said Minister of Police. She emphasised the importance of good parenting in this regard as it could go a long way in the fight against drugs and drug abuse. She also urged young people not to engage in or be influenced by any criminal activities.

Equal partners

The theme of the campaign, “Youth Act Against Crime” fits in with the Police Ministry’s goals of reducing crime, particularly against women and children, Deputy Minister Sotyu noted.

She asked young people to identify role models within their communities and not to idolise criminals whose future were already doomed. “All the glamour and glitz which you see being flaunted by these criminals is only temporary and does not last. In fact, I want to instruct police officers in this area to be tough on these heartless criminals, who sell you drugs!” she said.

Role models

The Deputy Minister noted that police leadership did not see themselves as experts who knew better than everybody else, but as equal partners in finding solutions to eradicate crime, particularly substance abuse. She said they wanted to learn from young people: “You are after all, the future. We therefore cannot shape our country’s future as elected leaders if we do not take you on board.”

She praised the youth of Galeshewe for showing commitment to help fight crime, because government could not fight crime alone. All members of communities, including the youth are therefore urged to participate in community policing forums and more directly by reporting crime where they encounter it.