Article: Nicro programme helped me turn my life around
The Herald. 25 October 2021. View article online (paywall)
Restorative justice can help us deal with the aftermath of the looting: Is an amnesty appropriate?
21 July 2021
By Mike Batley and Anneke Scheepers
Mike Batley is the CEO of the Restorative Justice Centre and Anneke Scheepers is the public relations and advocacy officer at Nicro. The proposal by the SA Council of Churches that there should be ...
The Only Way to Tackle Gender-Based Violence is at its Root: The Offenders
11 August 2021
By Betzi Pierce
As news reports swirl about a woman whose body was found on Women’s Day after having been raped and murdered, and amid an ever-increasing load of gender-based violence (GBV) cases, it is easy to become discouraged in the fight against the scourge.. With every passing year, there seems to be less and less to celebrate when Women’s Month rolls around...
16 days: Nationwide Action Campaign (25/11/2021)
25 November 2021
Today, NICRO will kick off a nationwide action campaign of GBV awareness and intervention, to mark the 16 days of activism against gender-based violence (GBV). We will host events and programs as outlined below, to educate our communities about GBV, and the lasting wounds that it leaves. Our goal is to lower the level of tolerance of GBV at community level, as well as to break the cycle of violence.
"Working with perpetrators is key to preventing GBV, says Betzi Pierce, NICRO CEO. "The solution to intimate partner violence is in working with perpetrators to change the root of their behaviour, through intensive therapeutic intervention. This is the only way to break the cycle of violence," she elaborated.
Although NICRO works with offenders, we cannot neglect the victims. Victims of GBV are left with scars and need healing. Yet, we often find that we repeat-victimise* them either intentionally, through victim shaming, or unintentionally, through the lack of sensitivity training on the part of the SAPS in dealing with their cases. These factors may deter victims from reporting incidents of GBV. It may also mean that the statistics on GBV don't reflect the true extent of the scourge, due to the low levels of reporting. Lack of reporting means lack of intervention. Ultimately, the ones perpetrating the violence don't get the help they need to stop. Over the last year, just 10.2% of our clients went through our 'perpetrators of intimate violence' programme, which may be pointing to the low reporting rates of GBV and domestic violence. If we want to stop GBV, the solution lies in changing behaviour on the part of offenders and diminishing tolerance for abuse in our communities. Only by doing this can we take meaningful steps towards ending GBV and creating a safe South Africa.
Here is a list of just some of the events to be hosted:
- 26/11/2021 - Community engagement with 200 community members in Golden Gardens (Sebokeng) on NICRO services, domestic violence , and Covid-19 protocol [Vaal]
- 29 & 30/11/2021 GBV Workshop with Parolees in Goodwood, Bellville, Bishop Lavis, as well as Kraaifontein, Durbanville, and Delft respectively
- 04/12/ 2021- Community engagement with 300 community members in Mooiplaas, along with Khuluma, Ditshego-House of Laughter, SAPS and NICRO, focusing on parenting adolescents with behavioural challenges [Khumula]
- 10/12/2021- Community engagement with 200 community members in Bophelong on the services that NICRO offers, domestic violence, and Covid-19 protocol [Vaal]
- 09/12/21 Raising awareness on GBV at Bishop Lavis Day Hospital
- 10/12/21 Awareness event: Youth Dialogue Centre of Excellence on the dangers of ‘date-rape’
Betzi Pierce: Chief Executive Officer at NICRO - 084 810 5154
Anneke Burns: PR and Advocacy at NICRO - 071 423 0079
Q2 Crime Stats: 'We Can Help' says CEO (22/11/2021)
22 November 2021
"The situation is critical; we simply cannot let things go on as is." - Betzi Pierce
NICRO can help government make a meaningful impact in the reduction of crime rates and will write to the National Minister of Police requesting an opportunity to engage on how our interventions can make a change for the better. 9 556 rapes happened between July and September this year, up from 8 922, while 6 163 murders took place, an increase of 1 056 from last year. Among the victims of murder were 897 women and 287 children, with the murder of children up by a shocking 31.7%. This is according to news reports on the statistics that were released today.
"The situation is critical, we simply cannot let things go on as is, said Betzi Pierce, CEO of NICRO. "Organisations like NICRO are ready and willing to extend the reach of government in the fight against crime but we call on government to support our capacity to do so", she added.
NICRO's work addresses the root causes of crime at a community and societal level to prevent the occurrence of crime and violence. Our interventions facilitate a behaviour change among at-risk individuals and individuals who are in conflict with the law. We also offer treatment, mitigate harm and assist with the reintegration of ex-offenders, to counteract and eliminate issues resulting from the offence.
"The rate of repeat offences is at around 90% in South Africa. If we don't help offenders change, we will not be able to stop crime," Betzi added.
NICRO and organisations like it can make a difference in the fight against crime. We are ready to assist government as the lives of ordinary South Africans depend on it.
Chief Executive Officer at NICRO
084 810 5154
PR and Advocacy at NICRO
071 423 0079
Annual General Meeting 13th November 2021 Invitation
The NICRO Board of Directors hereby gives notice of the NICRO Annual General Meeting (AGM), which will be held on Saturday, 13 November 2021 from 10h00 to 11h00.
In the light of the COVID-19 situation and to prevent the spread of the virus a virtual meeting will be held.
a) No member will be able to attend the Annual General Meeting in person.
c) All substantial and relevant questions will be addressed by the Board and/or management prior to or at, the Annual General Meeting.
Lois Elizabeth Hardy
Chairperson: Board of Directors
NICRO Partners for Change in Bishop Lavis (25/10/2021)
Date: 25 October 2021
The Bishop Lavis Changemakers, in collaboration with NICRO, hosted a Youth Development Fun Day on the 23rd of October 2021 at Roome Park Bishop Lavis, Roome Crescent. The event was aimed at addressing the issues affecting our youth and families in the community.
"The goal was to bring families together, to engage in activities, as well as to raise awareness among community members about the organisations that exist and are rendering services within the community.
"We expected around 270 children to join us but ended up receiving close to 300 little guests on the day, along with 80 volunteers who turned out to support the event," said Dori-Anne Erasmus, a Social Worker at NICRO who facilitated the event along with the NICRO Changemakers.
A live band engaged and entertained the community and there were fun activities for the children such as face-painting. There were also talks on more serious issues like domestic violence, gender-based violence, mental health awareness, as well as Covid-19 regulations.
We are thankful for the support of the many organisations who are a part of our Changemakers network, that contributed to this initiative, to help in our efforts around crime prevention and awareness. These include NICRO, BADISA, Usapho foundation, the Healing Heart Foundation, Beacon of Hope, Dogmathree, the Center of Excellence, Women 2 Women, Touching Nations, the Community Policing Forum, the local South African Police Service, Law Enforcement, and our Neighbourhood Watch.
The Changemakers who contributed to this event have also been active in the community in various other ways like giving little boys haircuts, assisting single moms and by ensuring that community is maintained by something as simple as getting the grass cut on a field so that the children can play soccer on it. This initiative aimed to embody the core values of NICRO, which includes striving for excellence, collaboration and being passionate about assisting those who need us most. We hope to have many more events like this in future, aimed at young kids to instill sound values in them and help them grow into the best version of themselves. We also aim to expand on our network of partnerships to reach as many people as we can.
Our donors include Donny's bakery Brockenhorst Farm, the local supermarkets such as Green Market in Bishop Lavis, Shada Butchery, friends of the Park CoCT ensured we got the park and some games and balls, and the ward Councillor also made donations in support of the event. A special thanks to the Center of Excellence for allowing us the use of their facilities
Elton Minto Was on a Path to Prison: NICRO Saved my Life (18/10/2021)
Press Release by: Betzi Pierce, CEO of NICRO
Date: 18 October 2021
Elton Vincent Minto, 39, found himself on the wrong side of the law after committing a crime that was set to destroy his future.
“In 2002 I was using mandrax and alcohol to cope after I made a girl pregnant. I was a top student but I lost my bursary because of the pregnancy. It was as though my whole life was shattered,” said Elton.
After a night of drinking at a tavern, Elton took the keys to his brother’s work vehicle without consent. He ended up wrecking the vehicle in an accident, while under the influence of alcohol. Things took a turn for the worse when both his brother and the company he worked for, laid charges of vehicle theft against Elton.
“I feared prison. Having grown up in a gang-ridden violent area, in Arcadia, in Bethelsdorp, Gqeberha [I always heard people say ‘tronk is nie jou ma se huis nie’.] I knew that if you went to prison, you would be sodomised,” Elton said.
At court in Gelvendale, Elton was referred to NICRO for diversion, instead of being sentenced to incarceration.
Diversion refers to diverting a person accused of committing a crime away from formal court procedures towards a more constructive and positive solution. The aim is to give offenders accused of less serious, non-violent crimes a second chance to address the root causes of the criminal behaviour through an appropriate diversion programme or intervention.
“It gives the court more options to address the criminogenic needs of offenders, to change their behaviour and reduce the risk of the re-offending. Diversion will not be considered if the interests of the criminal justice system, and society, are better served by prosecution and conviction” said Betzi Pierce, CEO of NICRO.
“We worked through what caused me to make those bad choices. We also had group sessions where our socio-economic problems were discussed” Elton said. After attending the diversion service with NICRO for six months, Elton had to appear in court where all charges were withdrawn, as a result, he has no criminal record.
In 2008, Elton began working for Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality (NMB) as a lab attendant. Two years later he was elected as shop steward. Today, he remains active in addressing the issues that his community faces and have been published in the Herald newspaper for his activism.
“I’ve met with MMC Annette Lovemore, to discuss community issues, and I’ve engaged with many other political leaders in the NMB Municipality”, said Elton. Most importantly, he was able to raise his son and take care of his family.
“I feel that first-time offenders need guidance and this type of intervention. I do not know what would have happened to me or my family if I went to prison. NICRO saved my life,” Elton said.
111 Years of Unprecedented Accomplishments (10/09/2021)
Date: 10 September 2021
NICRO commemorates a 111 year-long legacy in South Africa this week. As part of our 111th birthday celebration, our teams across South Africa took to their communities and spent 111 minutes in service of others in need (images attached).
“This is our way of celebrating and remembering our long history and unparalleled contributions to human rights, juvenile justice, criminal justice reform, and social crime prevention,” said Betzi Pierce, CEO of NICRO.
“In the years to come, we will continue to dedicate ourselves to equipping those we serve to embrace positive, healthy, and sustainable lifestyles as an alternative to anti-social, risky behaviour, crime, and violence.
“Over the years we have conducted research, taken heed of best practice, learned many lessons, and finetuned our approach and interventions to fight crime in the best way possible”, she added.
NICRO calls upon every South African community to stand alongside us and help lead the way to ending crime by:
- Ensuring the protection of all children and vulnerable individuals
- Promoting and supporting healthy, functional family structures
- Becoming involved and encouraging every friend and neighbour to watch out for other community members, help keep them safe, preventing crime and violence where possible, detecting and reporting all forms of crime and violence
- Keeping our schools safe where our children can grow, learn and flourish in safety, and
- Standing together to take back our streets, our parks and our public spaces so that our children, young girls and women can enjoy a safe, protected environment.
We thank our communities for their steadfast belief in us. NICRO cannot change the face of crime alone but united we can only succeed.
ABOVE: Atlantis office donating to a local care home
ABOVE: Cape Town office doing a beach clean-up
ABOVE: Bushbuckridge hosted 22 stakeholders informing of new NICRO services.
ABOVE: East London Staff
ABOVE: Germiston office crime prevention awareness talk at Dinwiddie Secondary School - 138 Beneficiaries reached
ABOVE: Limpopo Office staff
ABOVE: Nelspruit staff celebrations
ABOVE: Elukwatini staff celebrations
Women’s Month 2021: We are here to make a difference
4 August 2021
As we enter Women’s Month 2021, it is hard to deny that the scourge of gender-based violence (GBV) seems to have worsened since 2020. The occurrence of GBV was intensified by lockdowns, which has left victims with little refuge as they are confined to the same living space as the offender.
That, along with the harsher economic climate, which is owed to the pandemic, has compounded the problem. In doing our part in the effort against GBV, we provide interventionist mechanisms in which we work with offenders, victims, and their families to heal from and prevent further incidents of GBV.
We also provide outreach services, where we work with broader communities to raise awareness while undoing the acceptability of GBV. Our view is that the less accepting our broader social structures are of GBV, the less likely we are to see it occur.
We are here to make a difference and we welcome anyone who wants to support us in making South Africa safe. For the last 111 years, NICRO has been working at the forefront of crime prevention in South Africa. Our goal is to bring about a crime-free society.
By Betzi Pierce, CEO of NICRO
Talking Tech for Good Episode 2 – Learner Management Systems
In this second episode of the Talking Tech for Good podcast, Luvuyo Maseko and Jason Bygate, delve into this topic in more detail. Luvuyo and Jason are joined by Simone Peinke from Jobstarter and Regan Jules-Macquet from Nicro – two social benefit organisations that have implemented eLearing more extensively in the last year...