Witbank SAPS in cooperation with Community in Blue CPF and the local municipality of Emalahleni were in Old Coronation as part of a community crime prevention awareness campaign.
The campaign took place on football pitches on Saturday 5 February. Old Coronation is one of the crime hotspots in eMalahleni.
Police said this was aimed at solving priority contact, property and threesome crimes in the area. Murder, drug dealing and possession of unlicensed firearms and illegal taverns were among the criminal activities listed by the police.
Witbank Station Commander Brigadier Moses Bolton and Sector Commander Captain Christian Sibeko addressed all participants regarding proactive crime prevention and crime reporting through SAPS structures.
Brigadier Bolton encouraged the community to join the policing forum structures and join the Community Blue Patrols.
Ward Councilor Mr. Given Koko addressed the participants regarding the activities of the eMalahleni local council and the problems of service delivery in the area, although he indicated that they were yet to be formally introduced to the community.
The community had the opportunity to voice their concerns and specifically highlighted the following challenges for the police: non-availability of police when needed, drug dealers and drug use in the area, as well as than the absence of feedback after the opening of criminal cases. .
Community members advocated with the station commander for a satellite police station at Old Coronation.
Community members have also alleged that some police officers are corrupt and are seen collecting bribes from owners of illegal foreign shops.
They also said they did not understand how some suspects are released after being arrested by community members and that most guns used to rob people are illegal.
They pointed out that tavern owners have information about criminals and can be used as a contact to solve the crime problem.
“Young people in our area are committing crimes because they don’t have jobs and something needs to be done to encourage them to take part in sports and other activities. We need police presence and regular patrols to be safe,” said one of the community members.
During the meeting, a CPF structure was launched by the community that will work hand in hand with the police to proactively tackle crime in Old Coronation.
The community has received the police very well and has agreed to continue to work with the police in fighting crime in the area.
Community members also reported a drug den and partnered police went to the area, but no one was found there; the area is a drug spot as the evidence has shown.
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