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Broken windows theory the motivation behind cohesive clean-up campaign

Buoyed by the enthusiastic support of civil society from all walks of life and armed with a crime fighting strategy known as the broken windows theory, the Metro Police led a clean-up campaign to remove offending posters, illegally erected in North End.

The broken windows theory is a criminological theory that states that visible signs of crime, civilian chaos and anti-social behaviour encourages further crime including serious crimes.

Metro Police Chief Yolande Faro enthused about the spirit of togetherness as communities originating from various African regions and China (now naturalised South Africans) worked hand-in-hand with municipal departments to remove the posters stuck on lamp posts, electrical installations and any other available surface.

"We termed the initiative Simunye, we are one, as our ground work to meet with the different organised communities in the city beforehand, not only paid off, it also encouraged others to join in.

"It was especially heart-warming when people stepped in to help with more water or a hand when the glue doggedly refused to give in,” Chief Faro said.

The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Metro Police department is responsible for municipal bylaw enforcement, traffic law enforcement and crime prevention amongst others. The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Council enacted the Outdoor Advertising bylaw on 25 March 2010.

Member of the Mayoral Committee for Safety and Security Queenie Pink not only donned an illuminated vest, she also enthusiastically lent a hand to help rid our city of these unsightly posters advertising from "penis enlargements”, "safe and pain free abortions” to religious and social events.

"If we want to ensure that we fully eradicate these unsightly posters, spreading untruths in an attempt to sucker residents out of their hard-earned cash, we have to work closely with the community as they are living in the targeted areas.

"We would like to build a cleaner and safer city for our residents and therefore need all hands on deck to stop offenders from illegally posting more posters after we cleaned up. I therefore would like to encourage the community to be our eyes and ears where they live.

"Strict bylaw enforcement will follow our efforts of today to aesthetically improve all our suburbs. The reporting of the guilty parties will go a long way to nip this practice in the bud,” MMC Pink said.

The illegal erection of posters can lead to a fine of at least R1000.

Chief Faro said the event on Friday was a prevention, educational and clean-up awareness operation that will be followed by strict enforcement of the bylaw.

Prospective poster advertisers can obtain application forms at the Building Inspectorate, Human Settlements Department, 4thFloor, Mfanasekhaya Gqobose Building (formerly known as Eric Tindale).

Ends

Issued on behalf of the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality by Municipal Spokesman Kupido Baron (082 780 2726 / 041 506 1500 / kbaron@mandelametro.gov.za / @kupidobaron).

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