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Local police are ‘ready for looters’

In light of the recent insurrection that left Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal devastated, Standard asked the local police station about its preparedness should something like that occur here.

According to the acting station commander, Colonel Willis Smith, every police station has a contingency plan.

“These plans are reviewed on a regular basis to deal with protestors or looting when the time comes.”

Should an event of such a magnitude take place, the police station will reach out to other role-players such as local security companies and other law enforcement agencies.

“On a regular basis we engage with external role players who will be able to assist us should any imminent threat occur.”

Colonel Smith adds that all police officials undergo training in crowd management in order for them to control mass crowds when it is needed.

Questioned on whether or not the Worcester police station has adequate manpower to fend off would-be looters and rioters he said: “Worcester police, with the assistance of other units, are sufficient should any threat occur.”

In a recent press release, Minister for Community Safety Albert Fritz explained how public violence disadvantages everyone.

He says: “If you burn down the clinic in your area it means you have to travel far when you are in need of medical assistance. It is your community – your actions will have consequences for your own life. If you loot and burn down a shop, you are destroying the jobs and livelihoods which that business generates for your own community members.”

Fritz also thanked neighbourhood watches for assisting authorities during the uncertain period last week.

“I want to thank all neighbourhood watch members who have committed to assisting authorities by being the eyes and ears of police and other law enforcement agencies. I want to thank members for stepping up and for taking ownership of their communities. I want to encourage all citizens to be vigilant: take ownership of your community. Join your neighbourhood watch and support organized efforts to assist police and law enforcement in being their eyes and ears. And if you have any information that can assist police, especially information pertaining to the organisation of public violence, please report this information to police,” he concluded.

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