Churchgoers use collection plate to pass drug info to police
Crime-weary residents of the Durban suburb of Wentworth have come up with a novel way to pass on information about drug dealers to local police, by putting their anonymous tip-offs in their church collection plate, it was reported on Monday.
"You can go nowhere in Wentworth without coming across drug trafficking and addiction," Rev Cierigh Samaai, of the Inter-church Social Action Alliance Campaign, told Beeld newspaper.
Churches and the umbrella body Communities Building Credible Ownership initiated the tip-off system in co-operation with Colonel Deon Singh, the new commander of the Wentworth police station.
According to Samaai, a standard issue form for tip-offs to the police had been developed and could be placed inside an envelope identical to the one used by parishioners to place money in the collection plate.
Any information collected was then handed to the police.
"The drug problem in Wentworth is so severe that people are arriving from as far away as Newcastle to buy drugs," Samaai said.
Drug dealers were thought to have gained a foothold in the working class area's residential flats.
"The dealers pay people's rent and school fees in exchange for the use of the flat for drug storage or to sell drugs from," the newspaper reported.