The residents of Bokmakierie hosted a workshop on Saturday May 28, at Bokmakierie Primary School, to discuss ways of approaching crime in the area.
Randall Peterson, from the Dynamic Leadership Academy, who facilitated the workshop, said everyone in Bokmakierie wanted change in the area and that the community must take ownership to make a difference.
He recommended that the area be divided in to four sections, and that they raise funds to pay someone a salary to guard the entry points into Bokmakierie.
“You can’t see children getting shot, raped, and abused anymore. That’s why we are here, you are taking ownership of your community. Some people sleep peacefully at night and don’t know about the things happening in our community. We need to take ownership of the community,” said Mr Peterson.
He said residents should immedately call 10111 if residents notice anything suspicious going on in the area.
He also said the residents should establish a safe house for children to go to after school instead of playing in the street.
He urged residents to be visible in the community and interact with the schools in the area to find out if everyone made it to school that day.
He also encouraged residents to change the mindset of the community.
“Some people in the community will not accept what you’re trying to do, but keep on, do things continuously.
“You have the right to be protected by the police,” he said.
Athlone community police forum chairperson Aziza Kannemeyer said the meeting was a good start to making Bokmakierie a better place.
“This is something that Bokmakierie needs to become a better place.
“It can only grow from here. We need to move away from the the attitude that people must come to fix things for us,” said Ms Kannemeyer.
Mr Peterson urged residents to be the eyes and ears of the community, to build relationships in the area, and always convey critical information to the police.
“The workshop was very positive,” said resident Mayara Rashied. “I am glad that we can do something about crime in the area.
“We now know that we can approach the police about it,” said Ms Rashied.