In a spirit of good neighbourliness, Montigny Investments has committed significant resources to fight crime in neighbouring communities. The company believes that complementing the police efforts to keep crime levels down in neighbouring communities would have a ripple effect in improving security in its own plantations, which cover at least 5 percent of the country’s surface area, stretching from Nhlangano in the South to Lundzi in the West. Intelligence and Security Manager Sihle Mavuso said while their relationship with neighbouring communities has been good over the years, there has emerged a need to improve cooperation in the area of security for mutual benefit. As
a result, Montigny has announced a workshop for community police to be held from the 13th to the 15th of March. He said Montigny has partnered with the Mbabane Crime Prevention Unit in an effort to improve security both in neighbouring communities and within the Montigny plantation by training community police personnel from four communities under Siphocosini Inkhundla. The workshop comes in the aftermath of fact-finding meetings with the
community police of Siphocosini, Luhlendlweni, Sigangeni and Mantabeni. In these meetings it established that the strength of the community police in terms of numbers had been depleted, and there was need to recruit more. Mavuso
said upon noting the depleted numbers, it was agreed with the local authorities of all four communities that more community police be recruited. They will then be trained in the proposed workshop, which has been scheduled to run for three days. The workshop will be facilitated by both the police and Montigny, and will involve inner council members of all four communities, some elders and zone leaders. “The workshop aims to equip the community police with the fundamental skills and knowledge that would be fundamental in carrying out their duties. It will also serve as a proper platform for stakeholders to discuss challenges faced by the community police while doing their
work, as well as deliberate on issues of equipment and tools that would be needed to diligently do their job,” said Mavuso. He said they had observed, as a lead partner, that the level of crime in the constituency has been escalating recently. He said this has challenged them to engage all stakeholders to come up with strategies to fight back. “We cannot stand aside and just look as the company is part of the community and some of the residents of these communities are employed by Montigny. We believe the company has a role to play in making sure that the community is a safe place to live in,” Mavuso said. He further stated that training community police would help create a first line of defence from criminal elements who commit crime within the plantations. “With a vigilant
community police force, the criminals would have nowhere to hide, as the communities would no longer offer a safe refuge for them,” he said. Meanwhile, the Mbabane Crime Prevention Unit will add value in this partnership as the police are not only resourceful with law enforcement issues, but are conversant with the law as well. The workshop is the first step of renewed efforts that would help create a safe and crime-free community.

Montigny engages Siphocosini on increasing crime rate

There has been growing cases of crime within the Montigny plantation believed to be perpetrated by criminal elements from neighbouring communities. The criminal activities include forest fires, illegal grazing of livestock and cultivation of dagga. The company has responded swiftly and engaged Siphocosini constituency in a bid to find
win-win solutions to the problem. In conjunction with the Mbabane Crime Prevention Unit under the Royal Eswatini Police Service (REPS), Montigny set out to strengthen the community police structures at Sigangeni, Mantabeni,
Luhlendlweni and Siphocosini communities, which constitute Siphocosini constituency. During the visits to the four communities, it was noted that the strength of community police had been largely compromised due to some members losing interest, while others had other commitments. The meetings were held in the various royal kraals of these
areas and were attended by Montigny representatives, community police, the inner councils of the communities,
the community elders and representatives from the Mbabane Crime Prevention Unit. During the meetings, strategies were forged that would govern cooperation between the community police, the Crime Prevention Unit and Montigny as they jointly tackled the menace. With the assistance of the elders, new community police were selected to add to
the existing forces. Montigny’s Intelligence and Security Manager Sihle Mavuso pleaded with the community police to use the company toll free number (3344) to report any criminal activities that they believed might negatively affect the forest. He urged the community members to use the toll free number for making applications for permits, queries and reporting criminal activities. “Since the Siphocosini constituency is surrounded by the Montigny plantation, most criminal activities can be easily committed in the forest. The company wants to create a safe environment for the community as well,” Mavuso said. Meanwhile Crime Prevention Unit representative Cebsile Dlamini gave highlights of the Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence (SODV) Act of 2018 to the attendees. She further pleaded with the community police to be on the lookout for such offences in the community as these were usually neglected; yet they caused damage in the community. The police made a commitment that they would work hand in hand with the community police in curbing crime in the

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