Arresting criminals does not address root causes of crime: Arese

10 Jul 2013 09:30
WINDHOEK, 10 JUL (NAMPA) ? Increasing law-enforcement measures such as gun controls is not the only alternative to preventing crime in the country, an official from the Namibia Association of Local Authorities? Officers (Nalao) says.
Nalao Chief Executive Officer Nate Areseb said this during the official launch of three books on ?Building Safe and Caring Communities? in the capital on Wednesday.
The books focus on violence prevention initiatives in Namibia, and centre around safety audit reports for Okahandja Park in Windhoek, Rehoboth and Oshikango.
The books were commissioned by the Community and Local Authority-Based Violence Prevention Project (CLAB_VPP) - a collaborative project since 2010 coordinated by the Urban Trust of Namibia, in partnership with the Association for Local Authorities in Namibia (ALAN), Nalao and the Namibia Non-Governmental Organisations┬┤ Trust (NANGOF).
This partnership is supported by the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA).
Areseb said a normal type of response when communities are faced with crime is to put up higher fences, talk to experts who would come up with prevention strategies, or have a 24-hour security system installed.
According to him, communities should start asking themselves what it is that makes a certain place attractive to criminals to invade.
?For us to put an end to the cycle of crime and violence in our nation, we need to look at it from different angles,? he noted.
Areseb said safety is a core foundation, which everyone needs in order for communities to build their lives, and in order to build a strong nation.
?We want our wives and husbands to go to work and come back safely. We want an end to people stealing from us, attacking and hurting us without provocation,? the Nalao CEO stressed.
Other solutions such as increasing arrests and removing criminals from society might work much quicker, but eventually it is expensive and does not really address the root causes of crime and violence, said Areseb.
He stressed that Namibians like the toyi-toyi culture so much, adding that it has some appeal for that day or week, but eventually does not solve these problems either.
?The goal of this project is to develop, pilot and document a violence-prevention model that is counter-cultural. We also want to demonstrate the effectiveness of community-based, integrated and multi-sectoral interventions to reduce violence and promote safety,? he added.