Cop shops not 'political playgrounds'

2012-10-12 14:39
Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa. (Picture: Sapa)

Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa. (Picture: Sapa)

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Johannesburg - Civil society should help ensure that local police stations do not become "political playgrounds", Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa said on Friday.

"We need communities to play [an] oversight role on police... we urge you to constructively critic[ise] police where they do wrong, but equally compliment them where they excel," he said in a speech prepared for delivery in Jane Furse, Limpopo.

"We emphasise this point, precisely because police stations are not political playgrounds. They have never been and will never be."
He said police needed to be accountable to the communities they served.

"Neither are the SAPS (SA Police Service) nor our police stations playgrounds where criminals can come and befriend our members," Mthethwa said.

Different spaces

"We cannot have police and criminals in the same space, being cordial. To them we must be tough, and send a message that this government will not tolerate criminality."

Mthethwa was speaking at the launch of a festive season crime-fighting campaign.

Police kicked off the operation countrywide in September and it would run until the end of January.

"Our main objective is to call upon all South Africans to partner with the police in fighting the scourge of crime. This year's operations will build upon the previous year's lessons and successes," Mthethwa said.

"We will also increase high visibility patrols at all tourist destinations, especially along the coastal cities."

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