Police issue a stern lockdown warning

2020-04-09 06:02
The note at the Lwandle police station details what cannot be done during the lockdown. PHOTO: Mzwanele Mkalipi

The note at the Lwandle police station details what cannot be done during the lockdown. PHOTO: Mzwanele Mkalipi

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In an unprecedented move Lwandle police are now visiting victims of crime in their respective homes to ensure residents adhere to government’s national lockdown regulations.

In terms of the new arrangement, residents who want to register a crime must call the station and officers will be dispatched to their homes.

Station commander Lt Col Xolani Williams told City Vision in case of emergency residents can still come to the station, but wear their masks and gloves. Williams added that the complainant should not be accompanied by anyone. “If a person has got a small child he or she can come with,” he said. “We are dealing with cases as per reports that (are) made, on a first come first serve basis, but we are making sure that everyone is satisfied. We also deal with exceptional cases as the courts are also closed but certain cases can be discussed with the prosecutor. It is advisable for them to phone 10111 at all times.”

Williams said residents are sanitised at the door when they arrive and go to an officer at the counter. He said papers must also be cleaned and sanitised as they pose risk to the police.

Williams said although there are reports of increased domestic violence since the lockdown kicked in nearly two weeks ago, this was not the case in his area.

“In terms of liquor the crime has decreased and it is now clear that the liquor plays a big role in the commission of crime. We did receive some information about this (tavern owners selling alcohol behind close doors) and our people are on the ground to trap them,” he warned

“If caught, there will be no fine, but they get arrested and appear before a magistrate’s court and we will report them to the liquor board for their license to be scrapped,” said Williams.

Edward Phibantu, secretary of the Lwandle Community Policing Forum (CPF), apologised to the residents for not getting time to address them in person regarding the lockdown regulations.

“It is quite a challenge for a community like Lwandle which has been crying for better services including policing and crime. We have been requesting a proper police station, police personnel, vehicles and more equipment to better police service in the station,” he said.

Phibantu believes the lockdown will increase the workload and urged the community to respect and stick to measures and regulations set by the state. He said these are in place to save lives.

Phibantu said they were consulted on the measures taken by the station but not in time to communicate it with the residents. He added that the black market (shebeens and taverns trading behind closed doors) is making the implementation of these regulations very problematic. He appealed to the community to report such actions.

“Community members must not be afraid to report any price inflating during these challenging times as some of the shop owners take advantage of those who are in need,” he said.

Williams said they all understood it is a tough time for everyone and it’s not easy to be indoors at all times, especially those who do not have any food in their houses but “we need to persevere as we are on our last lap (of the lockdown)”.

He cautioned parents to keep their children at home at all times unless they are taken to a doctor. “If anything happens to a child we first want to know where it happened and if outside the house or area then we continue opening a case and we also charge the parents for not adhering to a lockdown instruction,” warned Williams.

Residents who want to open cases can phone 021 845 2068 /75.

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