2006-09-15 : Gauteng police to be beefed up

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2006-09-15 : Gauteng police to be beefed up

Postby GOSA » Mon, 2006-09-18 08:26

Gauteng police to be beefed up
Johannesburg, South Africa
14 September 2006 05:16

Gauteng police will be reinforced by 3 011 additional members, the provincial minister for community safety said on Thursday.

"This will increase Gauteng's capacity [to fight crime in the province] by 15% in terms of additional detectives and 8% in terms of visible policing," said Firoz Cachalia.

Cachalia was briefing media in Johannesburg on the province's safety plan and giving a two-month update on Operation Iron Fist.

The staff complement will fill the positions of station commissioners, detectives, crime prevention officers, crime intelligence officers and general support personnel.

It was not made clear where the reinforcements would be drawn from and when they would be on duty.

Cachalia applauded the first two months of Operation Iron Fist, a six-month police operation aimed at specific crimes such as car hijacking, robberies of houses and businesses, cash-in-transit heists and public transport-related crime and violence.

However, he was not satisfied with the number of arrests made in house and business robberies, but said that these categories had been prioritised and given specific attention.

A further key objective in the operation was to target the Gauteng police's "most wanted" criminals and crime syndicates.

"If we can break the back of syndicates, then we can deal effectively with violent crime," he said.

He was also "not satisfied" with the service at the 10111 call centres, saying there was "lots of work to be done".

"We are facing considerable problems. It's not just a policing matter" but one of organisational structure.

"I am satisfied that the police have intensified their efforts in tackling crime in Gauteng since the announcement of Operation Iron Fist," he said.

An update on the further developments made by the operation is expected in two months.

In conjunction with the intensive six-month police operation, Cachalia highlighted the government's commitment to fighting crime in the guise of the "Gauteng Safety strategy for 2006 to 2014"

The strategy had been designed in direct response to the national Cabinet's target of reducing serious and violent crime by between 7% and 10% per year.

"The strategy will be rolled out over the next eight years with specific objectives to be achieved before the milestone of 2010," said Cachalia.

He outlined four pillars of objectives: improving policing so as to increase the risk to criminals; promoting social crime prevention in terms of woman and child abuse and school safety; developing effective institutional arrangements through intergovernmental relations; and encouraging community participation. -- Sapa
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