Satellite office welcome

2015-05-26 06:00

A law enforcement office in Gatesville has already proved to be a success since it was set up just over a month ago.

Residents and visitors who frequent the busy hub in Gatesville say they have already seen the difference it has made.

Resident Angela Dickens says having the satellite office in the area has given her “peace of mind”.

“There are so many chancers who prowl our streets and having the satellite office here just makes one feel a little safer. I am glad they have introduced this in our area,” Dickens says.

Another resident, who requested to remain anonymous, says although the satellite office serves a good purpose he does not think criminals are deterred by it.

“You get your thieves who still take their chances. This might be because the area is so busy and the officers who are here can’t have their eyes open for everybody,” he says.

Report crimePeople are encouraged to report crime at the satellite office, but the resident believes that people see it as “too much effort”.

“You get some people who will report the crime but others just don’t go to the trouble. They either realise too late that they have been pick-pocketed or they figure that reporting the stolen goods will not make it come back,” he adds.

JP Smith, mayoral committee member for safety and security, says: “The satellite office was established as there was no law enforcement office in the immediate vicinity and was funded by the mayor’s urban renewal project.”

He adds the office will serve as a community service centre.

Physical presence“Complaints can be reported directly to the office. It will also establish a law enforcement presence in the area. The community will have the re­assurance of a physical presence that will help deter by-law contraventions and criminal activity,” Smith explains. Residents will also be able to certify documents at the office.

The office is open from 09:00 to 17:00 and is manned by both permanent law enforcement officers and auxiliary officers.

Ward councillor Magedien Davids says he is happy with the placement of the satellite office.

“This is definitely needed in the Gatesville area. It will aid in solving aggravations such as thefts and illegal activity in the hub,” Davids says.

He adds officers also do spot rounds in which illegal sales are targeted. V

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