Meet the friendly new face of crime fighters

2009-06-25 00:00

PIETERMARITZBURG’S central police station yesterday opened a revamped, user-friendly and fully staffed community service centre.

“We are creating an environment where people come in crying and leave with a smile,” said Loop Street police station commissioner, Director Parbathie Maharaj.

The centre has been transformed, giving it an appealing look, with shining floors and small cubicles with wooden chairs convenient for one-on-one interviews. The cubicles have signs identifying the services offered.

The centre is open for certification of documents and affidavits, reporting of accidents and general inquiries. The counter in the service centre was removed, creating more space and breaking down barriers between the public and the staff. The centre has new equipment such as computers and printers for record keeping and administration.

The crime centre is separate from the general service centre and also provides privacy and comfort.

In one part of the crime centre, detectives conduct pre-interview analysis to identify the relevant officer for the crime. On the other side, there are more concealed cubicles where designated officers can interview complainants.

A ramp for wheelchairs has been built on to the side of the police station.

Maharaj said the entire building will be renovated in about three years. “This is one of the city’s monument buildings and we have put aside a budget from the SA Police Service to renovate it and keep it in shape. We have started where it matters most, in the face of the public, because we are here to serve.”

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