Gauteng police chief, Major-General Eric Nkuna has berated politicians for risking the lives of police officers by pushing them to face the heat of protests they cause.
The deputy provincial police commissioner Major-General Eric Nkuna said on Tuesday that the politicians in the locality are fond of dodging their responsibilities and making policemen face the music on their behalf.
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Speaking during a presentation of Gauteng’s annual crime statistics to the Gauteng Provincial Legislature’s portfolio committee on community safety, the police commissioner said police officers are often times thrown in front of serve delivery protest especially ones that deal with land issues.
“Once we divert resources, police stations are not going to meet their objectives, you can forget it. These people prolong and prolong and prolong over a land invasion and it becomes worse. Then it becomes the police’s baby and we have to deal with the land issue,” Eric Nkuna said.
“I’m not blaming anybody but people have to take responsibility. Those who are supposed to receive memorandums, their cell phones are off … you won’t get them anywhere. Now we must go. These are local government issues, people must take responsibility,”
Eric Nkuna said this while responding to a question about the high number of police stations with poor results asked at the People’s Assembly.
The police also reported that there had been 1969 peaceful protests within 2015/16, out of these, about 638 had been violent and Gauteng provincial police commissioner Lieutenant-General Deliwe de Lange pointed out 13 police stations that have been identified as “contributing towards the crime in Gauteng.
He, however, noted that measures had already been put in place to ensure these stations are assisted
“If it is a question of leadership, then we will definitely have to remove some of the station commanders from their positions, together with their cluster commanders,” De Lange said,
According to the citizen, De Lange pledged to make sure the police record hit major improvement by 1 October when the quarterly results were released.
De Lange also promised to re-introduce earlier system when station’s commander’s contact details would be available to the public to call when they received unsatisfactory service.
“We definitely have to go back to that, Chair, I promise you we’ll go back as management, it will have to come back because it used to work for us,” he said,
DA’s member of the parliament, Kate Lorimer, however, pointing out that though business burglary has decreased in the local government, business robbery is still on the high side as well as stealing of motor vehicles and carjacking.
“We’re now seeing a shift to more violent crime in those categories and that to me is quite concerning,” Lorimer said while refusing to accept the 4% drop in sexual offenses.
“I’m afraid I still don’t believe these figures because anecdotally when I’m on the ground in informal settlements the number of people who do not report sexual assault or rapes is terrifying,” Lorimer said.
“It’s become: ‘Oh well, this has happened to me, let’s just move on. So, anecdotally, we’re not seeing that on the ground. People are feeling harassed when they go to police stations; they don’t feel like they are treated respectfully, and they are made to feel guilty for reporting crimes like this and it’s really something we need to address properly.”
Meanwhile, the police report says robbery with aggravating circumstances and Murder went up by 5.1% and 4.7% respectively. Attempted murder also pushed up by 8.9%.
On the other hand, property-related crimes reduced by 3.2% overall while crime detected as a result of police action had dropped by 8.4% or 8 468 cases.