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The Portfolio Committee on Police is of the view that the strengthening of specialised units and more resources are critical to deal with gang violence and organised crime in the Eastern Cape.
This follows the one-day oversight visit by the Portfolio Committee on Police to the Nelson Mandela-Metropolitan municipality area. The Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee, Mr Francois Beukman said the committee believes that the Anti-gang Unit should be formally established in the Eastern Cape to further strengthen the fight against gang violence in the affected Northern Areas and other precincts in the province. The committee was impressed with the dedication and commitment of the South African Police Service (SAPS) specialised gang unit members and the Operational Command Centre in Port Elizabeth (PE), which deals with organised crime. “The units and members need more resources, including technological resources,” Mr Beukman said. The committee is of the view that available police resources in the Eastern Cape should be used to deal with the increase in fire-arm crime in the province. Furthermore, six additional law-enforcement steps should be implemented at the affected police stations to deal with gang-related crime:
1) Vetting and life style audits of all Saps members attached to the stations
2) More resources should be allocated to crime intelligence at cluster level
3) Filling of all vacancies in the visible policing and detective units
4) Intelligence-led operations by specialised units on a regular basis
5) High police visibility and patrols in hot-spot areas
6) Maximum use of technology and CCTV, as force multipliers.
It is essential that the Civilian Secretariat of Police relook at the community policing forum model to ensure that resource constraints do not hamper efforts to improve police-community relations.
Community members and councillors raised their concerns with service delivery in certain police stations, and these concerns were brought to the attention of national and provincial management for resolve.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Republic of South Africa: The Parliament.