On LeadSA's Facebook page, Abramjee, who jointly chaired the meeting with Pretoria News editor, Zingisa Mkhuma, details the summit.
Some 165 delegates attended. They represented Community Police Forums (CPF’s), security experts, SABRIC, SHOUT, Crime Line, eBlock Watch, academics, NGO’s, business leaders and concerned residents. The MMC for Community Safety in Tshwane, Dikaledi Lehobe and senior Metro Police officials also attended and the media was well represented.
Deputy Police Minister, Fikile Mbalula and new Gauteng commissioner, Lt-General Mzwandile Petros represented the police. The six cluster heads for the Pretoria area and surrounding area commissioners were also present.
Abramjee says, “In his opening remarks, Mbalula covered a variety of issues including the important role communities had to play, the problem of corruption within police ranks and general policing issues. He issued a stern warning to cops who brought the police into disrepute. He asked them to leave the uniforms and badges at the stations and leave if they wanted to. He added that police management was not afraid to get rid of SAPS members who were useless."
Delegates raised a series of problems they are experiencing with the authorities. These included:
A lack of visible policing, problems with 10111, metro police were described as being “ineffective” and under resourced, a lack of discipline in some areas, shortage of resources including vehicles, police taking bribes, townships vs suburbs- resource inequalities, police not acting on information, reservists not being remunerated and lost dockets.
The deputy minister said ways of making the metro police more efficient were currently being explored. He said one proposal being considered was creating a single police unit for all.
Lt General Petros, who has moved to Gauteng as the new crime commissioner after successfully bringing down crime in the Western Cape, has unveiled his plans to make Gauteng safer, which will include:
- Making sure that every police sector has two vehicles on patrol at any given time.
- 1500 additional police vehicles are to be acquired for Gauteng over the next few months. “These will go to police stations and not the provincial HQ."
- Stationing vehicles around the clock along freeways.
- Focusing on 30 of the “problem” police stations in Gauteng where the bulk of crime is committed. 50 percent of South Africa’s crime was committed in Gauteng.
- Alcohol and drugs played a big role in especially murders. The General said operations are to beefed-up. He said the “big guys” were in Gauteng and had to be arrested.
- Residents could expect more roadblocks. “We will make life for criminals uncomfortable…citizens must bear with us as we turn this place upside down.”
- Communities must work with the police and fight crime. Reservists could not be paid….it is voluntary.
- Service levels at police stations had to be improved. Spot checks will be conducted on an on-going basis to see the levels of service.
- A provincial “war room” like the one established in the Western Cape is to be established in Gauteng. This is where police movement, etc is monitored. Operational centres will also be set-up across Gauteng.
- Ga-Rankuwa north of the city has a serious resource problem and the General undertook to look into it as a matter of urgency.
- The 10111 is going to get serious attention
- A senior official in his office will be focusing on corruption and other serious complaints against cops.
The General stressed that the police service in Gauteng needs to run like a business and called on the business community to assist with some of the needs, for example, training.
Finally, an appeal was made to the public to use the 32211 Crime Line SMS service.
It was resolved that LEAD SA would consider hosting another anti-crime summit next year and a call was made to also focus on other provinces and areas.