‘Cops are not helping’

2014-03-17 00:00

DRUG dealers, muggers and prostitutes are being allowed to operate because some police are reluctant to make arrests.

This is being claimed by Urban Management Zone (UMZ) security guards who are dejected at the lack of co-operation from the SA Police Service.

The guards allege that the officers were making it difficult for them to do their job. Now an internal investigation is under way into the actions of some officers based at the Broad Street satellite police station in the city centre following UMZ management having lodged complaints last month. UMZ is a municipal project and forms part of the Urban Renewal Programme.

EThekwini communications director Tozi Mthethwa said the municipality was aware of the security guards’ concerns.

“The issue of protocols for the UMZ guards and the police is being addressed by top management from both institutions to ensure that all levels of state work in synergy to promote the efficiency of our crime fighting strategies,” Mthethwa said.

Three senior officials close to the project, but who are not permitted to speak to the media, confirmed the investigation.

“The complaints were lodged against officers from the Broad Street satellite station. It’s the behaviour of certain officers to handle cases brought in by the guards. The Durban Central managers are dealing with it as we speak,” said one official.

Another said: “We don’t know what the connection is between the vagrants who peddle drugs and the police. We have escalated the issue to the police management at the Durban Central. We can’t say much on this matter at this stage as they said they were investigating.”

The UMZ security guards are posted in Botanic Gardens, down Che Guevara Road, Warwick Junction, Albert Park, Margaret Mncandi Avenue, CBD, back of beach front, Addington and Sandile Thusi Road. They apprehend suspects and call the police to effect arrests.

Senzo Mfeka, a security guard posted at the corner of Botanic Gardens and Steve Biko Roads near the Durban University of Technology, said prostitution was the problem in the area.

“I can’t tell whether these girls are students or not, but they are into prostitution. Sometimes business is conducted in the cars on the road side. Police are not helping the situation because they take one woman away, but within minutes the woman will be right back on the same spot she was supposed to have been removed from,” said Mfeka.

The situation is different down town, especially in Albert Park. Reaction officer Lucky Phungula and security officer Busizwe Gumede said they deal with bag and cellphone snatchers and drug peddlers. Their concern is the same, lack of co-operation by the police when incidents are reported.

Phungula said: “Drugs are different to deal with in the area. Just in the past week we apprehended two woonga peddlers in Alexander and Diakonia Roads. The one in Diakonia simply remarked that R1 000 will set him free, and in no time the same day he was out. Since we started aprehending suspects we were never given case numbers or called to court to testify.”

When contacted for comment, a police officer at the Broad Street station said guards were advised to write a statement if they had complaints about officers.

The provincial police could not be reached for comment.

• chris.ndaliso@witness.co.za

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.