Independent Projects Trust

      KwaZulu-Natal Crime Prevention Network

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While working on a one year Crime Prevention Audit, in 2000/2001 it became apparent that there was little communication between representatives from the different initiatives that we were engaging with. It also became apparent that those involved in various crime prevention projects could benefit from learning about the experiences of people involved in other projects. As a result we took the initiative of holding several networking meetings although these were not part of the audit project as originally envisaged. The follow-up meetings that were set up in response to their requests were also positive experiences for project representatives who now suggest a strong need for a 'permanent' networking structure with a broader range of participants. Among the issues that this 'networking forum' would want to address, which have emerged from research and joint discussion, are, inter alia:
  • The relatively common problem in accessing resources and information.
  • Lack of 'networking' across projects, and thus the lack of a system to draw on skills and resources that may already exist.
  • The tendency of projects to work in isolation, often resulting in low morale, negativity and a poor sense of worth about the value and contribution of individual projects.
  • Difficulty experienced by projects in determining what amounts to 'good practice' within crime prevention, stagnation in terms of methods used and limited access to information which might influence changes in their community based crime prevention efforts.
  • The lack of a repository and conduit for information, policy, guidance, training and other processes that if centralised could play a vital role in improving community based crime prevention initiatives.

Geographic focus of the project

The project is focussing on the Durban Metro area, which was one of the areas of the original audit.

Objectives of the project

  • To support community based crime prevention projects in the Durban Metro area and facilitate the development of relationships between individual projects through a networking forum.
  • To access, catalogue and distribute existing and new information related to community based crime prevention amongst members of the forum.
  • To develop documents that serve as guidelines for specific components of crime prevention processes. This would include drawing on materials developed during the Audit Project and developing additional materials as the need arises. These documents would be in simple format, available in English and isiZulu, and would cover issues such as:

* Setting up a crime prevention initiative
*Practical tips for ensuring involvement in crime prevention initiatives
*Developing a constitution for crime prevention initiatives
*Strategic planning for crime prevention initiatives
*Developing a crime prevention strategy
*Forming Urban Improvement Precincts
*To hold quarterly workshops on processes such as those mentioned above
*To assist in accessing the media to highlight good practice

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