By Pule Thole, MPL, DA Provincial Spokesperson on Safety:
The Democratic Alliance welcomes the arrest of members of a suspected motorcycle theft syndicate, who are allegedly responsible for the theft of several motorcycles in Kimberley.
These arrests came after community neighbourhood watch members acted together to identify and apprehend the suspects. The success of these arrests indicates that when the community partners with the police to fight crime criminals can be rooted out.
The recent trend of community members taking ownership of their neighbourhoods by forming neighbourhood watch structures such as Wanya-Tsotsi and Saamstaan Kimberley should be welcomed and encouraged.
These structures must work hand in hand with the South African Police Service.
Where the DA governs in the Western Cape and City of Cape Town formal partnerships and accreditation have been created between government and the Neighbourhood Watches.
Formal accreditation has also been supplemented by the provision of training and equipment to these structures with priority given to high crime areas and poorer communities. The DA believes in a whole of society approach to fighting crime, and through cities equipping their neighbourhood watches the community can play its part.
We call on the Sol Plaatje municipality through to give support to these structures in Kimberley. The DA will table a proposal in the Sol Plaatjie Safety committee for neighbourhood watches to be empowered.
Communities should partake in their Community Policing Forums and Community Safety Forums where they are formed, and where they are not formed the SAPS must act to implement them.
The SAPS admitted in the Northern Cape Provincial Legislature this week that clusters such as Kuruman, Pofadder and Springbok do not have active CPFs and CSFs. The SAPS must rectify this.
Partnership with communities is crucial in creating safe environments for our people.
I have raised this with the Provincial Commissioner Lieutenant-General Janet Basson and I expect that she will address this as a matter of urgency.
I will further engage with her office going forward.