Police Minister, General Bheki Cele says the police will conduct foot patrols in Westbury to address gang violence and to ensure the community’s safety.
Cele was speaking at a Ministerial Crime Prevention Imbizo held on Tuesday at Westbury Recreational Hall in Johannesburg.
Addressing the community, Cele said police will saturate the area seven days a week, with officials set to return in three months to assess the situation.
“Three months is when we come back to you community and [you] tell us what you see, and tell us what you want. We are here for you, we are here to be told by you what to do. We are here for your safety [and] we are here for your comfort,” Cele said.
Cele warned that when criminals want to govern and co-govern with elected government, the police must not be kind to them.
“When criminals are unkind to you, please be double unkind to the criminals. We demand respect to the community, but if respect can’t be found, we demand fear that criminals must know that they don’t belong here, [but] belong somewhere else.”
The management of the South African Police Service (SAPS), led by Cele, Gauteng Premier, Panyaza Lesufi, the Deputy Minister of Police, Cassel Mathale and Joburg City Mayor, Thapelo Amad gathered in Westbury to launch an integrated intervention plan.
This was in response to the call by the Minister to come up with an urgent plan and intervention through a multi-pronged crime prevention strategy, which will bring down the scourge of crime in Sophiatown, Westbury, Newclare and Claremont.
Addressing the media, Cele said the SAPS is utilising this opportunity to urge community leaders and members of the community to work closely with the police to get to the root cause of crime in the area.
He said the intervention plan can only be successful if all stakeholders play their role in fighting crime and addressing the socio-economic challenges that have marred the area.
Cele said that while additional resources and deployments are in place, the SAPS calls on all stakeholders to join hands together to fight the scourge of crime that is threatening the livelihood of the community of Sophiatown.
“As the police, we will ensure that we play our part by ramping up police visibility, deploying crime intelligence and investigating crime in this area so that we can arrest the criminals and put them where they belong. This community engagement aims to strengthen community-policing relations in this area and enable the police to make a positive impact in resolving the spate of crimes in Sophiatown.
“This engagement will also assist the SAPS to establish a foundation upon which a moral regeneration programme can be implemented in order to create awareness on how the community can report serious crimes to the police and to help improve the area’s social standing,” Cele said.
Source: South African Government News Agency