The primary objective of Street Committees is to involve the community of a particular area in creating a happy, peaceful and productive environment by encouraging community members to take a greater interest in, and responsibility for, their community.
The success of Street Committees hinges on community involvement and effective communication with local government departments, including, police, social welfare, infrastructure services etc.
The following foundations are critical to achieve the stated objectives:
• Involvement of the community.
• Formalisation of communication structures for information to and from the community.
• Creation of a platform for teamwork and cooperation within the community.
• Structured protocol to lodge concerns, obtain information and create accountability when dealing with challenges that require solutions.Functions
The main function behind the formation of the Street Committees is to combat crime through:
• The provision of information
• Collective identification of suspects
• Cooperation with policy services
• Early identification and prevention of crimes
Street Committees should be encouraged to go beyond this by engaging in other socio-economic activities in their communities, which include:
• Prevention and resolution of domestic violence
• Social welfare issues e.g. orphans, disabled, elderly, etc.
• Liaison with local business people
• Youth and Women empowerment
The increased interest of the community in all these matters that are of collective interest has a significant impact. It must be noted that the community should be encouraged to not only identify problems and hold the relevant government departments accountable but to also seek creative solutions in partnership with government and business. This requires commitment and volunteerism, but these are the ingredients needed to build and strengthen our great nation.
Street Committees are important structures which fulfill a key role in creating strong communities. Fundamental to its success is a team of community members who passionately desire to build a strong community. Those involved should encapsulate the highest levels of integrity and professionalism and possess a clear focus on the interests of the community rather than on individual goals.