Quoting from http://leadsa.co.za/?p=14228
“Today we are launching Drug Watch in Gauteng and the initiative could not come at a better time.
Drugs are devastating many lives and ruining communities across South Africa. Gauteng has been labeled the ‘drug capital’.
The direct link between drugs and domestic violence, rape, abuse and other crimes is well established. To curb these social ills, we need to tackle the drug problem head on and with vigour.
Drug Watch aims to squeeze the space in which drug dealers are able to operate in and to enable communities to deal with the problems they face.
As a Lead SA and Crime Line initiative, Drug Watch aims to highlight and strengthen the efforts of the South African Police Services (SAPS), the Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department (JMPD) and Community Policing Forums (CPFs) in clamping down on the trade of drugs.
Drug Watch also has the support of the Premier of Gauteng as well as the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.
President Jacob Zuma has extended his support too. In a letter of endorsement he writes: ‘It is clear that working together we are poised to intensify the war on drugs and succeed.’
‘We have to target the drug manufacturers and dealers. We also have to start the healing process in communities who have been torn apart as a result of the drug scourge.’
Through the media platforms of Talk Radio 702, 94.7 Highveld Stereo, The Star and The Pretoria News, a spotlight will be shone on the drug scene in the province over the coming weeks.
Stories of police successes, warnings about drug hotspots, personal stories of the impact drugs can have from family members, addicts, recovering addicts and convicts will be shared. The authorities have committed to ramp up their efforts to follow up on all information that comes through from this.
It’s time to educate and inform the nation about the drug evil we are facing.
In addition to encouraging citizens to report drug dealing and manufacturing, Drug Watch also aims to give them an opportunity to break the silence on the destruction that drugs have caused in their lives, families and communities.
Furthermore, Drug Watch seeks to connect those in need of help with the relevant organisations to move them towards rehabilitation and reintegration into society.
Drug Watch was first launched in the Western Cape in November 2012 and ran until January 2013 and during this time, 15 919 arrests were made in connection with drugs, and over R10,5 million worth of drugs was seized.
Further to this, the campaign led to an outpouring of grief from citizens whose lives had been wrecked by drugs. Inconceivable stories about young men under the influence of drugs who raped their mothers and grandmothers, horrific stories of rapid descent into a life of crime and destitution from convicted prisoners and heart-breaking stories from mothers who had lost everything through their child’s drug problem, only to eventually lose their child too.
The stories revealed a drug scene that is far from glamorous, fun or an escape from reality. It showed us the dark truth about the impact drugs have on people’s lives and the extent to which drugs are sweeping through our communities. Children as young as nine years old are being co-opted to sell drugs in their schools.
The focus in the Western Cape has since moved to the Mitchells Plain area which has been identified as a major hotspot.
We hope to do the same in Gauteng and identify the major hotspots in our province.
We decided to launch Drug Watch today because the 26th June is also the United Nations Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit trafficking.”
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