Community complain about crime rate

2017-12-22 06:00

THE people of Kokstad are complaining about problems they have experienced with the Kokstad Police Station, and want government to provide a solution.

This comes after the KZN Community Safety and Liaison Portfolio Committee, led by chairperson Bheki Ntuli, met the community at a stakeholder meeting at the Kokstad City Hall on Tuesday.

Ntuli said it is vital for government to listen to the needs of the people and plan with them on how to utilise the budget for the next financial year.

He said the duty of the portfolio committee is to monitor performance of police and strengthen relationship between police and community structures to fight crime.

At the meeting people raised many concerns, which include the late response of police to crime scenes, a lack of police vehicles, the need of a mobile police station in Shayamoya and general police visibility.

Community member Zulu Ngenjane said crime is out of control in Shayamoya and they need a mobile police station because the Kokstad Police Station does not help enough.

“When community police forum (CPF) members report crimes to Kokstad Police Station by cellphone they are told to report personally to the police station not by phone because the police station is five kilometres away from them, which is difficult for some of them,” said Ngejane.

Others want government to train CPF members to fight crime effectively and some allege that police are friends with drug dealers.

Greater Kokstad Municipality Speaker Zolani Mhlongo complained that the Kokstad Police Station has old infrastructure and needs refurbishing.

He said crime has increased rapidly in town and police take a long time to respond because there are not enough vehicles.

The police cluster was moved from Kokstad to Ixopo and Greater Kokstad Municipality Mayor Bheki Mtolo was unhappy with the move.

He said the police cluster should be in Kokstad because the town has a large population and the biggest economy in the Harry Gwala district.

“Investors are leaving Kokstad because of crime and people are even afraid to walk in town. Police must stop giving friends high positions, leaving behind capable people who can fight crime,” said Mtolo.

Some people asked the portfolio committee to visit the police station to see the bad environment that police have to work in.

People said sometimes there is no water in the toilets at the police station.

Portfolio committee members said they will visit the police station early next year. Responding to the concerns Ntuli said the committee will look into all complaints.

“The police station has plenty of vehicles, the problem is that some are broken and it takes a long time for them to be maintained.

“Government is going to work on getting new vehicles that are compatible for Kokstad,” said Ntuli.

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