John Moodey MPL
DA Gauteng Provincial Leader
Crime in Gauteng is threating to spiral out of control, and the SAPS needs to improve its interaction with local communities and the quality of its crime intelligence.
Almost every day the province is bombarded with reports of women and children caught in crossfire, attacks on metro police officers, armed robberies, xenophobic attacks on foreign business owners, gang attacks, taxi rival shoot-outs, violent service delivery related protests and drug related crimes.
While police do enjoy a certain amount of success in apprehending perpetrators, it normally follows after a massive public outcry for increased resources to a specific area.
Accurate intelligence of criminal activity plays a crucial role in the prevention of crime, and it appears to be sorely missing from hotspots such as Westbury, Sophiatown, Reiger Park, Lenasia, Eldorado Park, Riverlea, Diepsloot, Soshanguve and Hammanskraal.
In the absence of specialised law enforcement units, police have to rely heavily on networks of informers, which, coupled with proactive and visible policing operations, will drastically reduce criminal activities.
Such networks are established through positive interaction with communities, by building a relationship of trust between police officials and individuals.
It is widely known that public participation in Community Policing Forums (CPFs) is unacceptably low, but this may be a result of mistrust, and not of apathy. Every effort should therefore be made to improve relations between local police and communities.
To this end the DA will submit questions to Community Safety MEC Sizakele Emelda Nkosi-Malobane requesting a breakdown of all CPFs per police stations, whether they are sufficiently functional or not, the existence of community outreach programmes, and initiatives to improve public relations.