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‘SAPS insufficiently resourced to fight crime’

“THE Jeffreys Bay Police Station is insufficiently resourced to fight crime in Jeffreys Bay.”

This according to Shadow Minister of Police, Andrew Whitfield, after an oversight visit to the station earlier this month.

He was joined by Member of the Provincial Legislature (MPL), Bobby Stevenson.

According to Whitfield, a growing population and an increase in crime in many parts of Jeffreys Bay require the appropriate resources to keep the community safe.

“The Station Commander, Col Kiewiet, confirmed that visible policing is a major problem with vehicles in the garage for repair and insufficient manpower to patrol. She indicated that most nights there is only one vehicle with two officers patrolling the streets,” he said.

“The crime statistics released in 2019 revealed that there is a house breaking in Jeffreys Bay almost every day. This combined with an increase in other crimes such as common assault and theft of goods from vehicles contributes to a case load which is out of control.”

According to Whitfield, the residents of Jeffreys Bay deserve a responsive and professional police service that will arrive at the scene of a crime quickly and handle all complaints with compassion.

“A few years ago the Jeffreys Bay Police station was downgraded from Full Colonel to Half Colonel, which means fewer resources to fight crime,” said Whitfield.

Other issues include the status of the Community Police Forum (CPF) and the role of the station commander in supporting the CPF, as well as the escalation of drug related incidents, gang violence, crime statistics and the state of vehicles.

Whitfield has now written a letter to the National Police Commissioner to report on his visit, and to demand the reinstatement of Full Colonel Status for the Jeffreys Bay Police Station.

According to him, this status will ensure that the local community receive the resources they need.

According to Colonel Sibongile Soci, the South African Police Service (SAPS) remains a developing organisation, which strives to improve and grow in its developmental agenda within the core mandate of fighting crime, thus making an impact towards making our communities safer.

“SAPS can confirm that Jeffreys Bay SAPS has enough vehicles, which are suitable for the area they police and the terrain they service. The vehicles are for both visible policing and the detective services,” said Soci.

“It is imperative to note that SAPS vehicles run 24-hours and from time to time will be taken to garages for services and repairs. However, members have the responsibility to manage the vehicles allocated to them, as these vehicles are a valuable resource in the fight against crime.”

Soci continued that there is no plan or feasibility study conducted to downgrade the station; the rank of the Station Commander is a Lieutenant Colonel and any suggestion of manpower shortage at the station is refuted.

“The South African Police Service remains committed in creating a safe and secure environment for all people in South Africa and the relationship between the SAPS and the CPF is good. The CPF at SAPS Jeffreys Bay play a vital role as they assist SAPS in the fight against crime and they are also the link between the SAPS and the community.”

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