In a bid to raise awareness about crime and gang violence that has negatively impacted Cape Flats communities, the Grassy Park Community Police Forum (CPF) on Tuesday launched the #GangsterismSHALLFall campaign. The campaign, which is geared toward creating awareness about the scourge of gang violence, will call to the fore the need to change the mind-set of the youth, as well as improve family structures.
Grassy Park CPF public relations officer, Philip Bam said the name of the campaign, GangstarismSHALLFall, being a play on the often used ‘GangstarismMUSTFall’, acts as an indication that residents are determined to fight the scourge of gangsterism to very end.
“Gangs were not there before. So we need to create an environment that makes it difficult for them to survive. If the community works together then we will ensure that it falls.”
Bam says that the launch of the campaign was spurred on by the fact that at least one of the recent victims of gang violence was a child, which highlighted the impact that gang violence has in the lives of unassuming children playing in the street.
He says that adding to the continued spate of gang violence within the Cape, is the fact that at least 13 people were killed in a span of 30 days, at the end of 2015, within Grassy Park.
In light of role that families play with the community, Bam asserts that one of the more worrying aspects of gang activity is the recruitment of primary school children into the gangs, who subsequently resign themselves to a life of gangsterism and drugs.
“We want families to be more aware about what gangs can do and how it can suck young people in, they need to be able to build up some resistance,” he stated.
Bam explains that the campaign will include the handing out of 40 000 pamphlets at schools within the Cape Flats.
“The idea is that each child will receive a pamphlet, which they take home and then start a conversation at home about gangstersim. Because, we believe that you can beat gangsterism around the eating table with the family,” he added.
In addition, campaigners will venture through the streets of the Cape and open up the dialogue of gangsterism and the accompanying impact that it has on the lives of all residents.
Given the large amount of gang violence victims in the past few months, Bam notes that campaigners are planning to meet with all sectors of law enforcement to understand what local and national government is doing to combat gangsterism within the Western Cape.
“Sometimes, their plans are not very effective and are short term approaches. So, our plan is to interact with law enforcement agencies and to ensure that their plans are more effective,” he continued.
He says that the campaigners will also be meeting with other stakeholders in a bid to employ the assistance of all sectors of society.