Mbalula promises yet more cops

2017-11-02 06:00
Fikile Mbalula promises more resources to Nyanga following the area reclaiming its position as the number one murder area in the country. PHOTO: Mandla Mahashe

Fikile Mbalula promises more resources to Nyanga following the area reclaiming its position as the number one murder area in the country. PHOTO: Mandla Mahashe

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Last Thursday, Police Minister Fikile Mbalula, speaking in Nyanga a day after the country’s national crime statistics were revealed, promised more police visibility in the notoriously crime riven area.

In the 2016/17 financial year, Mbalula said, 287 murders were committed in the area, which includes the precincts of Nyanga East, Crossroads, Philippi and Samora Machel.

With all these clumped together, Nyanga remains the country’s murder capital, years after the attainment of democracy.

Mbalula said that despite doubling the personnel and resources, the police will continue to give special attention to the area.

“We are coming here for the second time since the president visited, we have upped our personal and resources on the ground.

The people have complained about the visibility(of police) and we have done just that, we have increased the(presence and numbers of) Tactical Response Team,” he said.

He also said that there was a complaint regarding Samora Machel were residents demanded a police station and that too would be attended to.

“Nyanga is very important to us. For the past five years, there was a promise to build a police station but that was never build, but we have now allocated land and we are aligning resources so that the construction can be begin,” he said.

He further went on to tell the residents that his department is working hard to make sure all police stations are effective in their work.

“Under my leadership, there will be no dysfunctional police stations. Commanders must do their jobs.

Now that we have the statistics, we know what we need to do, we have a service that we need to render to the people,” he said.

He also said that he wanted all police stations to work according to the six point plan that he introduced earlier this year.

In the plan he had stipulated that: at the police service station:

•(police should) Treat all victims with respect and dignity and that they should be interviewed by a trained police official in a victim sensitive manner,

•Assist victims in a Victim Friendly Room (VFR) or an alternative room where the statement will be taken in private or in another location providing victim support services;

•Take or refer victims to a health care professional for a medical examination to obtain medical evidence, complete a medical report and provide health care to the victim;

•Ensure that the investigation is conducted by the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Investigation Unit (FCS) or a detective with relevant training;

•Refer all victims to victim support services that are available in the precinct for legal, medical, social and psychological help; and to •Pro-actively provide feedback to victims on the progress of their cases.

Sonwabo Soga, a resident from Lusaka, said that they have seen a marked difference in police visibility recently, but was still not satisfied with the conduct of individual police.

“There has been a number of police vehicles patrolling our neighbourhood, but the members are not conducting themselves properly as they harass innocent people.

I am happy that more resources are being allocated to the area,” he said.

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