ONLY a day after the Nelson Mandela Bay metro police were left without a chief, the â€œhardwareâ€? was introduced for the new force.
Altogether 21 vehicles were added to the metro police forceâ€™s existing arsenal by mayor Danny Jordaan last week – and this is just the first step.
Last month Jordaan requested a plan by the metroâ€™s councillors on how to finally establish a metro police force – nearly two years after Pinkie Mathabathe was appointed as metro police chief.
- Mathabathe last week moved to the position of acting director for safety and security , but this would not stop the process, Jordaan said.
â€œWe have already received the plans to launch the metro police,â€? he confirmed. â€œNow we have launched the hardware. The next step is to meet this week so that we can determine the priorities and align them with the budget.â€?
A budget of about R500-million was available for the police, while 40 trained officers were ready to start their work, he added.
â€œWe want to make the Bay one of the safest metros in the country. There is no place for crime. In Helenvale people are speaking about murder as if itâ€™s just another occurrence, and this cannot be part of our normal conversations.â€?
The news of the metro policeâ€™s progress has been welcomed with open arms.
â€œThis is a great initiative, but we must do our part to ensure its success,â€? said pastor Godfrey Caesar, a community leader in Helenvale – where gang violence still prevails.
â€œThe mayor is the father of the metro, but as the children we must unite to help in the fight against crime.â€?
The community must also act to prevent further crime, said Tim Hendricks of the SAPS Mount Road cluster board.
â€œThe gang members are not aliens,â€? Hendricks said.
â€œThey are our children, our family. Crime knows no colour or culture; it affects all of us. It is time that we stop accusing each other and instead take back ownership of the metro.â€?