Awareness combats crime

2015-12-16 06:00

PHUTHADITJHABA. – The Free State Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI) recently painted Phuthaditjhaba and Harrismith red during its awareness campaign which addressed the 16 Days of Activism of No Violence Against Women and Children, drug and human trafficking, as well as crime prevention. An effort was made to engage with the community.

The Free State Hawks – led by Maj.Gen. Lizzy Ntshinga, responsible for the Free State and Northern Cape, and Brig. Litta Matroshe, multi-disciplinary commander of the DPCI Free State – as well as investigators and administrators, took to the streets of Harrismith and Phuthaditjhaba.

According to Matroshe, hitting the streets and being visible brings back hope to the community and business people tired of truck hijackings on the N3, N5 and other roads, as well as corruption.

She added that it was the duty of the unit to inform the public of commercial crime and to make them aware of human trafficking, especially in cases where children are involved.

Sgt Mmako Mophiring, police spokesperson, said Ntshinga had been happy to be in the eastern part of the Free State.

“She encouraged her members to paint both towns red and tell people to be who they are – not forgetting that in the process they needed to prevent crime.

“At the end of the day she expects zero reporting of crime, as a result of no incidents being committed. She also expects to make an impact on the community,” Mophiring said.

“She moved around on foot with the members of her team, all wearing red and gold T-shirts, as well as in marked Hawks cars, unmarked investigation vehicles and visible police with blue lights and sirens. This was to catch the eye of the public.”

Mophiring said with the festive season in the mind and heart of the public, criminals also took advantage of the excitement.

“That is why police visibility is required, at shopping centres and malls, to deter them.

“Therefore, the Hawks deemed it fit to engage on this level, for the community to acknowledge their presence in Harrismith and Phuthaditjhaba.

“They began their campaign activities in Harrismith, visiting the N3 Highway Junction truck stop and taxi rank, engaging with truck and taxi drivers, giving out pamphlets. The pamphlet information is about crimes such as ATM fraud, card fraud and skimming, crimes against women and children, human trafficking, and so on.”

The crime awareness campaign ended in Phuthaditjhaba at the Setsing Shopping Centre and Crescent Complex, where Ntshinga confiscated 80 copied CDs. The suspect had disappeared before the team approached his illegal business.

“The fact that the community saw the presence of the Free State Hawks in Phuthaditjhaba, gave them hope.

“The teams handed over pamphlets with contact numbers of all the Free State branches of the Hawks, with the aim of encouraging the community to report crime.

“On the other hand it is an important exercise for the teams within the Free State for team building, as well as for managers to get closer to the people they lead,” Mophiring said.

“I want to take this opportunity to thank all the members of the community and all police members, as well as our investigators, for the service they render to the community with a smile and pride. Also the families of these members for showing support in the hard work they execute,” Ntshinga said.

“It is the time of the year for giving and receiving and may the good God protect you. Wishing you and yours the best Christmas and new year ever. You need to celebrate this with respect and stay away from crime, because it doesn’t pay.”

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