Top cops talk to locals

2016-03-29 06:00
Lucinda Evans community leader calls on a quick response on police in their area if they call for help at an Imbizo that was held in Lavender Hill PHOTO: TIYESE JERANJI

Lucinda Evans community leader calls on a quick response on police in their area if they call for help at an Imbizo that was held in Lavender Hill PHOTO: TIYESE JERANJI

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Police says they are going back to basics. For them to be able to do so fully they are pleading with community members to work hand in hand with them so that they can root out bad elements.

To make their plea to community members an imbizo was held on an open sports field in Lavender Hill last Wednesday. The gathering was used to address issues of safety, crime and gangsterism in the area.

It was part of a three-phase outreach programme by the police.

The meeting was attended by Nathi Nhleko, national police minister, Maggie Sotyu, his deputy minister, Khomotso Phahlane, acting police commissioner, Lieutenant-General Khombinkosi Jula, provincial police commissioner, Dan Plato, provincial minister of community safety, community leaders, neighbourhood watch members, schoolchildren and residents from different areas.

Jula told the crowd that they were there to hear the challenges of the community and work on a solution together.

“We are going back to basics and this starts with the community. We are here to listen to your challenges. We want to hear about your safety and how we can help.

“We are also here to tell you that allow the police to do their job. There is a disturbing pattern of officers who are attacked when they come to help. The act on our officers is an attack on the state and that must stop.

“We are appealing to the community to be ambassadors so that the police will execute their duties fully. We are here to improve services but that can only be done when the community works with the police,” he said.

Phahlane said they were in the area to engage with the residents.

“We want to work with you. Police will never win when they work alone. We have to stand up as community members and say no to crime in our community.

“Don’t allow our children to be consumers of drugs, be involved in gangsterism. Do the right thing; and the right thing is to inform the police. These people who are killing and causing the community to be in fear, they are known. Report them so that the police can act on that.

“We are also here to tell you that the notion of there are no police vans and the notion of you must come to the police station to report an incident is ending today. Police must me visible and be in our communities all the time to help,” said Phahlane.

He went on to urge residents not to buy stolen goods.
“What you don’t know is what happened to the owner. Someone might have been killed, raped or injured for that item which is sold for cheap. Instead blow the whistle.
“For us going to basics means being visible, being responsible, rendering service to the people where it’s really needed and that cases must be thoroughly investigated.”

After the officials had addressed the attendees, they also had their chance to speak up.
Lucinda Evans, a local community leader, said they were pleading with the justice department to tighten the belt of justice.
“We work in the community and we catch people with guns and ammunition. They are arrested and they get out on R500 or R300 bail. This is not fair; these people are killing our children and they continue to roam our streets. Please help us, these people shouldn’t come out lightly like this.

“We are also told of shortages of police each time we call the station; this is not helping us. Can we have more police in the area to address crime promptly?” she asked.
Fadillah Abrahams said the officials had to get rid of corrupt police members.
“We live in fear; police are connected to the gangs and the drug dealers. How are they going to fight crime like that? Due to bad elements in the police our children have to run around in fear.
“If police will walk with us they must also learn to listen to us.”

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