Youth encouraged to act against crime

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Pretoria - Deputy Minister of Police Maggie Sotyu has encouraged the youth to act against crime and to stay away from drugs and prostitution.

Addressing the Crime Prevention and Youth Mass Mobilisation campaign recently held at Galeshewe in the Northern Cape, Sotyu noted that young people live in an imperfect world loaded with indecencies, social ills, civil and drug conflicts, which has placed the picture of young people in doubt.

"Unless you organise yourselves, it would be difficult to deal with the challenges facing the youth," Sotyu said.

She also encouraged communities to participate in community policing forums and by reporting crime where encountered.

"The damaging impact of drugs is not limited to individual victims, localities and a specific point in time, your loyalty is contested by various forces including criminal elements, thus a need to form an informed, effective and creative shield around the youth.

"The marginalised represent an easy target for gangs and syndicates, the community and its leaders should therefore pay attention to the issue of social exclusion, drugs are both a crime and a cause of crime. ...good parenting goes a long way in the fight against drugs and drug abuse," she said.

She further stressed a need to develop facilities, interest and guidance for sports and other social activities to ensure an environment that is not conducive to crime and encouraged the youth to identify role models within their communities instead of idolizing criminals.

"All the glamour and glitz which you see being flaunted by these criminals is only temporary and does not last, I want to instruct police officers in this area to be tough on these heartless criminals, who sell you drugs."

She said while the focus tends to be on drug sniffers, more energy should be on putting behind bars drug pushers.

"What we need to begin to do is to channel our energies around the destruction of these drug webs, the 'big bosses' are smiling all the way, without any remorse or care of how much damage they are causing...these are the real thugs we should all target and apprehend,"said Sotyu .

She said the campaign theme: "Youth Act Against Crime" ties in appropriately with the Police Ministry's approach in stemming crime, particularly against women and children.

"It is not a mere theme but a challenge and an undertaking from young people to reconfirm you to making our country and our continent proud."

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