Free State cracks down on gangs

2013-10-05 08:45
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Bloemfontein - Gang activities in the Free State need to be dealt with, new provincial police commissioner Lieutenant General Thabetha Mpembe said on Friday, after establishing a gang unit in the province.

Gang activities had plagued Bloemfontein, Virginia, Welkom, Botshabelo and rural towns such as Bothaville in recent years. Youth gang activities in Botshabelo had led to school closures.

"We cannot allow educational disruptions," he said.

Gangs and gang activities had been identified as an issue to be addressed by the local police, said Mpembe.

However, it was important for the police to work with communities and the media, in educating people about gangs. The police would also speak to the National Prosecuting Authority.

Mpembe said the focus on gangs would also lead to measures against drug use, drug smuggling and illegal firearms.

Other crimes to be targeted included illegal mining activities and crimes on the country's border.

Mpembe said the police would look at practical solutions.

Read more on:    bloemfontein  |  gang violence

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