Solly Msimanga’s government has launched bicycle unit to combat crime in the troubled town of Hatfield, east of Pretoria.
The Executive Mayor of Tshwane, Solly Msimanga, launched the new bicycle unit which would be tasked with assisting the fight against crime in the Hatfield area.
The mayor said that with the help of CCTV cameras which would be installed in due course, the move is expected to reduce the high number of thefts and robberies in the area.
“This unit will help boost our crime fighting efforts and restore the image of Hatfield as the safe neighbourhood it used to be” Executive Mayor of Tshwane, Solly Msimanga said.
The launch was attended by representatives from nearby businesses who have committed to work with the metro police officers to combat crime that affects the businesses, residents and students.
“Hatfield is typically dense with students owing to the University of Pretoria hence the high number of robberies and thefts targeted at learners. Surely, we cannot have a situation where our students are condemned to a life of fear and victimisation. The bicycle unit will get all the support and resources needed to make their work a little bit easier.”
There is an increase in crime around Hatfield. Police spokesperson Captain Colette Weilbach who confirmed the reports of crime in the area said that the SAPS Brooklyn experienced an increase in reported cases by students who are victims of various crimes.
Weilbach said thousands of students and other youths from all over Gauteng frequented the Hatfield area daily for studies, shopping and entertainment from early in the mornings until late.
The bicycle unit is a result of a partnership that began a year ago between the city and the Hatfield City Improvement District (CID) and mayor Msimanga said it was established with the help of business community which partnered and sponsored his government.
If we can get that in the CBD‚ Centurion‚ Mamelodi‚ Garankuwa‚ Hamanskraal … we should be able to launch as soon as possible in other spaces, he said.
The bicycles will communicate with CCTV camera monitors‚ who will give the officers information about any crime taking place in a particular spot.
“You have a better chance of manoeuvring through traffic and pavement with a bicycle than a car. Also when you have these guys visible on the streets‚ visibility also reduces the likelihood of people getting mugged‚” the mayor said.
The unit is part of Msimanga’s plan to improve safety in the city and attract investment.
The city has already launched a drug unit and is expected to soon launch one to deal with hijackings.