Police promise arrest of gangs in Mphophomeni

2011-12-20 00:00

A CRIME intelligence task team has been set up to tackle crime and gang activity in Mphophomeni.

Mmamonnye Ngobeni, the provincial police commissioner, announced this during an imbizo with the community to help fight crime yesterday.

The imbizo was attended by senior political and security officials including Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa; the acting national police commissioner, Lieutenant-General Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi; and the MEC for Transport, Community Safety and Liaison Willies Mchunu.

Ngobeni said they had been made aware of the crime problems in the Mphophomeni area.

She said a crime intelligence team had been set up to come to the area to assess the threats and the possible criminal activity there.

“Once those have been identified, those officials will then inform the uniformed officers to make arrest.”

The task team comes after complaints by the community who alleged they were living in fear of gangs. The gangs, called the 26s and the 28s, are named after prison gangs and are accused of murder, rape, house and business robberies in the area.

During the interactions between the community and the delegation, the community said the shortage of resources was affecting the police’s response to crime.

“It takes the police about three hours to respond to a crime situation because they have no vehicles,” said a community member.

Another said. “There were 42 police officers in the station, some have died and others relocated and were not replaced. You find that during a shift there are only four police officers working. If one officer calls in sick, two go to the streets to patrol you find only one officer at the station.”

Minister Mthethwa said he wanted to see the gangs behind bars and that the necessary resources such as a mobile caravan to extend the police station building as well as vehicles would be provided.

Mthethwa also announced that the police have achieved 362 convictions on charges that got life sentences totalling more than 20 000 years of imprisonment for crimes such as rape and abuse against women, children and the elderly from January to November this year. He said 108 of these sentences were meted out in KwaZulu-Natal.

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