VRCID to share ideas from Sweden

There’s more to Sweden than ABBA, meatballs and massage – the leader of the organisation that helps to keep parts of Bellville and Parow ship-shape says Cape Town can learn from how Swedes run their cities.

Derek Bock, the CEO of the Voortrekker Road Corridor Improvement District (VRCID), has just returned from Stockholm where he spoke an an international neighbourhood-watch safety conference.

Held last week, it drew 150 delegates from around the world. They discussed public safety and social upliftment.

Mr Block spoke about the relationship between the authorities and the public when it comes to public safety.

He told the Northern News that Cape Town could learn from the Swedish cities.

“What was very clear to me is that the authorities should be encouraged to form public-private partnerships and support the work being done by CIDs. Senior managers operating in Sweden’s cities are either fully qualified architects, social workers, criminologists, urban designers or retired senior police officers and are in charge of public safety, social upliftment and urban management.

Due to their qualifications, they have a good understanding of the challenges faced at the operational level.”

After the conference, Mr Block also visited the head office of international security company, Securitas, in Malmo.

He said he had been impressed to see how private security officers were trained by the traffic department to be traffic wardens.

“These wardens can only issue tickets to non-moving violations, but this will greatly assist us with traffic-related violations in Bellville and Parow.”

Last month the VRCID hosted the deputy police chief from the city of Chicago in America.

VRCID chairman Hardus Zevenster said the organisation had helped to draw global attention to Bellville and Parow “with the potential to attract international and local developers and investors.”

Mayor Dan Plato said the City and VRCID planned to meet to see how some of the ideas Mr Block had picked up in Stockholm could work here.