Police ‘wage war’ on crime FULL STORY ON PAGE 3

2016-11-16 06:01
PHOTO: nokuthula khanyile During the SAPS motorcade (from left) Constable Sphelele Ngcamu, Major General Phumelele Makoba and Constable Mohsin Ibrahim.

PHOTO: nokuthula khanyile During the SAPS motorcade (from left) Constable Sphelele Ngcamu, Major General Phumelele Makoba and Constable Mohsin Ibrahim.

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UMGUNGUNDLOVU South Cluster police members have issued a stern warning for criminals to stay at home this festive season as they will be out in full force patrolling crime hot spots.

They will be prioritising crimes such as murder, house and business robberies, rape and crimes against women, children and the elderly.

During a vehicle motorcade around the city last Thursday to launch the festive season fight against crime campaign, Umgungundlovu South Cluster Commander Major General Phumelele Makoba, the police and other role players pledged their commitment to make Pietermaritzburg safe over the festive season.

The convoy, conducted by members from 11 police stations under Umgungundlovu South Cluster in an attempt to educate the public about safeguarding their cash and lives this festive season, started at Alexandra police station then proceeded to Richmond, Taylors Halt, Plessislaer and was rounded off in the city centre.

Addressing scores of people outside the Bessie Head Library, Makoba said they were calling upon all residents to partner with the police in fighting the scourge of crime.

“During the festive season crime levels tend to go up owing to the high levels of spending among consumers and an increased consumption of alcohol. This festive season, criminals will feel uncomfortable and unwanted as police will go out in full force to ensure a safe, secure and happy season for all residents.”

Makoba said residents could expect high police visibility over the festive season.

“There will be a zero tolerance policy to crime this festive season. We will increase police visibility in all the crime hot spots because we believe having police in plain sight prevents crime.”

Although law enforcement agencies will do everything in their power to ensure a safe festive season, Makoba has urged people not to expose themselves to crime.

“Do not be victims of crime, be careful when drawing money at ATMs, and avoid carrying cash because criminals are out there looking for you.

“One of our main concerns is also stokvels being soft targets to criminals. We urge members to be vigilant and try and carry as little cash as possible. They must use safer alternatives offered by banks when dividing the stokvel money.

“There are many scams happening around the city and you all need to be careful,”she said.

Makoba also urged residents to work together with the police and report any criminal activity.

“You know who the criminals are in your respective communities, do not harbour them. We also urge you not to buy stolen goods because buying encourages criminals to continue stealing because there is a market for the goods.”

A resident, who spoke to the Maritzburg Echo, said they are desperate for crime prevention in order to feel safe with the holidays approaching.

“Using ATMs in town is not safe anymore, you never know if the person behind you is a criminal. This is going to get worse with people due to get bonuses.

“If the campaign brings more police into town then we are happy,” said the resident, who asked to remain anonymous.

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